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Oktoberfest Began as Something of a Wedding Reception
Beer lovers who also like to travel no doubt include attending Oktoberfest in Munich on their bucket lists. The annual festival in Munich begins in late September and lasts for 16 days, during which people from across the globe gather to celebrate Bavarian culture.
A wildly popular folk festival held annually just outside the city center of Munich, Oktoberfest is a joyous celebration that includes food, dancing, music, parades, and, of course, beer. Some observers may note that the Oktoberfest celebration, minus the parades, closely resembles a modern day wedding reception. And such an observation provides a clue as to the origins of Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest includes so much tradition that some revelers may feel as though it must trace its origins back many centuries. However, according to History.com, the original Oktoberfest took place in 1810. That festival was actually a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. To commemorate the couple’s marriage, the Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to celebrate with them during a nearly weeklong feast that included plenty of music, food and dancing. The fields where the celebrations took place were renamed the Theresienwiese in honor the new bride, though celebrants now refer to this area by the abbreviated name of “Wies’n.”
While both Prince Ludwig and his bride have long since passed away, each would no doubt take comfort knowing that their nuptials are still being celebrated today, more than 200 years after they tied the knot.
This year, Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich begin on Saturday, September 21, and continue until Sunday, October 6.
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