World's Greatest Party? Oktoberfest In Munich, Germany's 200-Year-Old Celebration! by Dieter Schmitz
If you like a good party, you just may love Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany! This festival dates back 200 years, when Crown Prince Ludwig, who later became King Ludwig I, married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. The people of Munich were invited to attend the festivities, which were held on the fields in front of the city gates in order to celebrate and toast to the royal couple. The fields were named Theresienwiese ("Therese's Fields") to honor the Crown Princess, but the Bavarians have since abbreviated the name to the simpler term "Wies'n."
Oktoberfest typically starts the third weekend in September and goes until the first Sunday of October. It kicks off with a parade for the brewers on Saturday, and then another parade on Sunday in which all the villages of Bavaria are represented. The parade participants march their way to the fairgrounds, where a huge carnival and many large banquet tents (more like lodges) are set up for Wies'n celebrations with plenty of food and drink (yes, "Bier" is the drink of choice)!
Up to 7 million people may attend Oktoberfest (3 million local, 4 million tourists), so make sure you book your stay early. Don't forget to wear a Dirndl (women) or Lederhosen (men) so you fit right in at the Wies'n! Prost!