world's largest Volks festival in Munich, Bavaria, Germany

The Oktoberfest (also called Wiesn) is a German festival that takes place on the Theresienwiese, a public place in the center of Munich, Bavaria. It is every year, in late September and early October. It is a big social event. There is lots of eating and drinking. It is on for sixteen days ending on the first Sunday in October. If this is the first or the second the festival is extended to the end on 3 October, the Day of German Unity. This is the day when East Germany and West Germany joined into one country again in 1990.

Inside a Bierzelt ("beer tent"), Oktoberfest 2005
The Oktoberfest in Munich in 2003



The first Oktoberfest was on 12 October 1810. The feast was for the wedding of King Ludwig I of Bavaria and Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The feast lasted for 5 days. There was music, eating and drinking. At the end of it there was a big horse-race. The next years they had this horse-race and the feast again, because the people had liked it so much.

On 26 September 1980, a right-wing lone wolf terrorist killed 12 people and himself using a bomb.

Today the Oktoberfest is the world's largest fair, and it has become very famous and popular. About six million people visit it every year. Many people and tourists from all over the world come to Munich for Oktoberfest. Other cities have copied the Oktoberfest, and now they also hold feasts that are similar to the Oktoberfest.

One of the famous attractions is a big dipper called the "Wilde Maus" which means "Wild mouse" in English.

The tents

Löwenbräu Tent (2003)

There are 14 main tents at the Oktoberfest.

Name Brewery Seating
inside outside
Hippodrom Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu 3,200 1,000
Armbrustschützenzelt Paulaner 5,839 1,600
Hofbräu Festzelt Hofbräu München 6,896 3,622
Hacker-Festzelt Hacker-Pschorr 9,300 0
Schottenhamel Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu 6,000 4,000
Winzerer Fähndl Paulaner 8,450 2,450
Schützen-Festhalle Löwenbräu 4,442 0
Käfers Wiesen Schänke Paulaner 1,000 1,900
Weinzelt Nymphenburger Sekt 1,300 600
Paulaner Weißbier
Löwenbräu-Festhalle 5,700 2,800
Bräurosl Hacker-Pschorr 6,000 2,200
Augustiner-Festhalle Augustiner Bräu 6,000 2,500
Ochsenbraterei Spaten 5,900 1,500
Fischer Vroni Augustiner 2,695 700