May 26


Munich Oktoberfest – O'zapt is…

By Frank

May 26, 2020

The Oktoberfest is the largest folk festival of its kind in the world and generated sales of 1.2 billion euros including overnight stays in 2018. Around 8,000 permanent employees supported by around 5,000 changing employees take care of the well-being of visitors to the Oktoberfest.

But first things first...

Four years after Bavaria became a kingdom , Crown Prince Ludwig I married Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810.

After Therese's move to Munich was tantamount to a procession that was cheered on by many thousands of Bavarians , there were five days of celebration after the wedding on October 12th. Incidentally, the wedding date was not chosen by chance - October 12th was the name day of Ludwig's father, King Max I.

All of Munich was on its feet that evening. The top 6,000 , specifically the members of the National Guard and their families, were invited to dine and dance at four inns . All the other Munich residents were fed outdoors in the city center . 32,065 rolls, 3,992 pounds of Swiss cheese, 80 hundredweight of roasted mutton, 1,330 pairs of smoked sausages were spent, plus 232 hectoliters of beer and four hectoliters of Austrian white wine.

When the citizens of Munich were looking for a suitable gift for the royal couple, the hired coachman Franz Baumgartner, who served as a cavalry corporal in the National Guard, had the saving idea: organize a horse race , not only for the high society, but also for the general public . Unknowingly, he laid the foundation for the Oktoberfest with his idea.

Aha! Cool...

Spectators horse races on Theresienwiese Source: Hohbach lithography, 1845

Origin - horse racing for weddings

An open area between Munich and the village of Sendling was suitable as a racetrack . The race pursued the royal family under the protection of a conspicuous pavilion , a booty tent from the time of the Turkish battles in the 1680s. More than 40,000 visitors came. Children in Bavarian folk costumes paid homage to the royal family present with poems, flowers and fruits of the country.

The festival race with 30 horses on a 11565 foot (3370m) long track followed after the move. In front of 40,000 spectators , the horse of the already mentioned hired coachman Franz Baumgartner was the first to cross the finish line after three laps. He received his gold medal from the racing champion and Minister of State, Graf von Montgelas .

The more than 200-year success story of the largest folk festival in the world goes back to a horse race. Are the Munich taxi drivers aware that their main source of income was initiated by one of their predecessors, a hired coachman ?

The square was now called, after the bride , "Theresenswiese", later renamed to " Theresienwiese ". In 1810, drinks were not regularly served, there were only a few taverns on a hill near Sendling.

Small Oktoberfest tent presentation


The largest folk festival in the world traditionally opens in Schottenhamel. The mayor taps the first beer here and gives the starting signal for the festival. Afterwards, mostly young, party-loving people from Munich and the surrounding area stream into the tent.

Hofbräu festival tent

The largest and probably loudest tent with almost 10,000 spaces inside and outside. Tourists from all over the world who have already gotten to know and love beer in the Hofbräuhaus meet in the Hofbräu tent. Even in the morning, before the music starts, the tent can be heard roaring across the festival grounds.

Löwenbräu festival hall

A large lion above the entrance roars “Lööööwenbrääääu” and attracts locals and locals alike. With more than 8,000 seats, the festival hall is one of the larger tents.

Paulaner Festhalle

For the 2010 Oktoberfest anniversary, the Paulaner Brewery built a completely new building. Its landmark is the tower with the rotating Paulaner beer stein below the Bavaria. The Paulaner Festhalle - formerly Winzerer Fähndl - has had a central beer supply for a long time - a ring line in the ground guarantees that the flow of beer does not come to a standstill.


Things are hearty in the Ochsenbraterei. The tent takes its name from the large ox on a spit , which is not only a decoration above the entrance, but also the most important attraction inside this festival tent. Whole oxen have been roasted here in one piece for almost 130 years.


The Oktoberfest is the largest folk festival of its kind in the world and generated sales of 1.2 billion euros including overnight stays in 2018. Around 8,000 permanent employees supported by around 5,000 changing employees take care of the well-being of visitors to the Oktoberfest.

According to the breweries, Oktoberfest guests drank a total of 7.3 million liters of beer (2019). 124 oxen were eaten in the ox roastery. The veal roastery reports consumption of 29 calves . According to estimates by the festival management, 6.3 million guests came to the Wiesn.

Even if the beer is not always poured to the full at the Oktoberfest, many Oktoberfest visitors overestimate how hard they can drink . Consider that as a man with an average body weight of 80 kilograms you treat yourself to a pint of beer, you have a per mille content of 0.75 . If you drink two beers, your blood alcohol level is 1.5 and after 3 liters of beer you have 2.25 alcohol in your blood .

As a woman with an average weight of 60 kg , her blood already has a blood alcohol level of 1.1 after just one measure . After 2 liters of beer you have 2.2 parts per thousand alcohol in your blood. And according to 3 Maß , the alcohol content in your blood is 3.3 per mil .

Depending on the brewery , the beer has different alcohol content ! Hacker Pschorr has only 5.8 percent alcohol, while the strong Hofbräu Oktoberfest beer has 6.3 percent alcohol .

Permille content - calculation

Once you have calculated the alcohol content in grams for each brand of beer, you must enter the result in the following formula: per mille = amount of alcohol in grams / (body weight in kilograms x proportion of body fluid ).

Since the proportion of body fluid in body weight in men is 68 percent , but only 55 percent in women , there are different values for men and women:

  • According to 2 Hacker-Pschorr measures , a man weighing 85 kg has the following alcohol level: (46.4 x 2) / (85 x 0.68) = 92.8 / 57.8 = 1.61 alcohol concentration
  • If he drinks 2 liters of Hofbräu Festbier , that’s (50.4 x 2) / (85 x 0.68) = 100.8 / 57.8 = 1.74 per thousand
  • For a woman with a body weight of 65 kg , 2 liters of Hacker-Pschorr Festbier result in the following per mil value: (46.4 x 2) / (65 x 0.55) = 92.8 / 35.75 = 2.6 per mil
  • If she drinks 2 liters of the Hofbräu Festbier brand, she gets a value of (50.4 x 2) / (65 x 0.55) = 100.8 / 35.75 = 2.82 per thousand

So you can imagine a certain crowd in front of the " drinks return " because the beer tents at the Wiesn alone offer 120,000 guest places . There are 17 large and 21 small tents at the Wiesn. The following capacity of urinals is installed:

Toilet facilities:

  • "1400 seats"
  • approx. 1km standing room
  • 43 disabled toilets

Nevertheless, one can imagine a certain crowd in front of this kind of " drink return ", because the beer tents at the Wiesn alone offer 120,000 guest places . There are 17 large and 21 small tents at the Wiesn.

World champion of beer consumption - a surprise

Germany is the world champion when it comes to drinking beer - you might think so, especially when you're at the Oktoberfest. But not true. The Czechs have the highest per capita consumption of beer at 143.3 liters per year . Germany, with 104 liters per person per year , only ranks fourth in the beer drinking table, behind Namibia and Austria .

Beer is healthy - the four beer vitamins

After all, beer consists of 93 percent water. Beer contains a lot of minerals , for example calcium, magnesium and potassium . There are also various B vitamins. And of course beer is a purely plant-based and vegan specialty .

Beer on prescription...

"Can you prescribe me a beer, Doctor?" What sounds like a bar joke is truth. Beer helps flush the kidneys and flush out toxins in patients with urological problems. Not in Bavaria, by the way, but in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Increased speed of the escalators

By the way, with the high number of people, it is only natural that the escalators go faster during the Oktoberfest...

What's exciting to see?

Hall of Fame with Bavaria

The secular patroness of Bavaria measures 18 meters and is cast in bronze. A spiral staircase leads to the head of the Bavaria, from where you have a unique view of the Theresienwiese and the neighboring districts. Bavaria is a coveted woman and has been for centuries.

She is the symbol and secular patroness of the Free State - in short: the face of Bavaria. It was designed between 1843 and 1850 by the Munich artist Ludwig Schwanthaler on behalf of Ludwig I and cast in bronze - a technical masterpiece.

Behind the Bavaria stands the colossal building of the Hall of Fame. In 1853, the wing was designed by the former star architect Leo von Klenze , and Ludwig I also gave the order here. The building was intended to commemorate the merits and fame of Bavaria.

Tasting and entertainment

In addition to the beer tents (17 large tents, 21 medium-sized businesses), the Oktoberfest offers 167 shows , 146 restaurants , 231 goods sales businesses and over 100 different rides for every taste.


For adrenaline junkies (break dance, wild mouse, Olympic looping,...), for nostalgics (devil's wheel, calypso, ghost train,...), for romantics (ferris wheel, bumper cars,...), for the frugal ( Traditional carousel, Oide Wiesn,...) or for children (Jumbo flight, swing boat, Munich slide,...)

Old Octoberfest

The Old Oktoberfest

Anyone who takes a seat in one of the historic fairground rides and then experiences real Bavarian customs in the cozy beer tent. gets an idea of how the Oktoberfest used to be. When the anniversary celebration "200 years of Oktoberfest" was due in 2010 , the plan was to give a historical insight with the Oidn Wiesn.

In fact, the event was planned as a one-time thing . However, the Oide Wiesn was so popular that it was decided to establish it in a slightly different form as an integral part of the Oktoberfest. The area is 3.5 hectares on the southern part of the Theresienwiese .

Wiesn - trip to paradise Source: Pinterest

Historical rides

This is where the " Kalb chain flyer " from 1919 turns, the "Big Berta " puts muscle power to the test and the " Journey to Paradise " over mountains and valleys is reminiscent of the "good old days". Folk festival classics such as swing boats and children's carousels round off the range of entertainment along with historic throwing and shooting galleries .

Oktoberfest / Wiesn

Schwanthal height

80336 Munich

About the author

It is more valuable to experience a place in detail than many small impressions of an incomprehensible whole.

Genius Loci - discovering, capturing and experiencing the spirit of a place. Perceive - understand - enjoy!

As a graduate industrial engineer with an additional MBA degree from a renowned university in England (EMBA, EQUIS and AACSB accredited), I have been showing other, often surprising, paths to success for more than 30 years at C-Level (Head of Marketing and Sales worldwide).

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