Here are 30 facts – known and less known about Oktoberfest including its history and consumption statistics:
- Oktoberfest 2020 has been canceled for the first time since World War II. The famous beer festival in Munich to fall victim to the coronavirus outbreak.
- The Oktoberfest was named after the wedding date of Crown Prince Louis I and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on 12th of October 1810. All over Munich, celebrations were held in its honor. The horse racing was organized a few days later for a grandstand with 40,000 spectators.
- In 2019, it will be the 186th season of Oktoberfest. You don’t need to be very good at math to see that Oktoberfest should have been more than 200 years old already. Actually, there was no beer festival during the Napoleonic and Prussian wars in the 19th century and also during World War I and World War II. There were no celebrations either in time of cholera or economic crises. The longest break was between 1938 and 1948.
- Albert Einstein, when he was 17, helped his uncle at Oktoberfest in 1896, as his company Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein provided the lighting.
- The Statue of Bavaria by Ludwig Michael Schwanthaler, an iconic figure of a woman with a lion, was added to the Theresienwiesen in 1850. Its height is 18 m (30 m with the pedestal). In The Hall of Fame (Ruhmeshalle) behind the statue, you can find busts of some prominent personalities of German history.
- In 1908, Carl Gabriel introduced the first roller coaster in Germany at the Munich Exhibition Center, and a year later, Max Stehbeck brought the first portable attraction called “Figur-8-Bahn” to Oktoberfest.
- The highest number of Oktoberfest visitors reached 7 million people in 1985. Last years it was around one million less.
- 1980 was a sad year in the history of Oktoberfest. 13 people died, over 200 were injured, 68 of them seriously, in an attack.
- Since 2016, the area has been fenced to protect against possible terrorist attacks and luggage is strictly controlled. Larger bags and rucksacks must be put into storage.
- Last year, the lost and found office recorded nearly 2700 found items at Oktoberfest, mostly IDs and purses. Only 20% of found objects return to the owners.
- Every year, visitors steal thousands of beer glasses as a “souvenir” – over 101,000 glasses in 2018!
- Most visitors come from Italy, Japan, USA and Australia.
- Since 2010, you can also visit the historical version of Oktoberfest called Oide Wiesn. The entrance fee is 3 euros.
- Munich is not the only city where Oktoberfest takes place. You can also visit its “clones” in Aachen, Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, Hanover, Konstanz, Leipzig, Mannheim, Stutgart and Frankfurt. Oktoberfest is also organized by German communities in the US – in Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.
- Oktoberfest engages 13,000 people.
- Oktoberfest has its own post office. About 130,000 postcards and gifts are sent from there every year.
- 4 million visitors use Munich‘s public transport, mainly the subway.
- Beer has been sold at Oktoberfest only since 1880.
- In 2018, visitors drank 7.5 million liters of beer.
- Water consumption reaches 130,000 m³.
- Oktoberfest produces 1,300 tonnes of waste each year.
- The average electricity consumption is 2 900 000 kWh, and gas 235 000 m³
- There are more than 115,000 seats in the halls.
- There are 173 shops with 300 shop assistants in the area.
- There are 1,410 toilets, 1,000 urinals and 31 toilets for the disabled outside the tents.
- 235,000 pairs of pork sausage are consumed in two weeks.
- Every year, 120 roasted oxen are consumed.
- Last year, 79,000 pork knuckles were sold…
- .. and 510,000 fried chickens.
- Smoking is strictly prohibited in the halls.
- Usually, waiters are able to carry about 8 beer glasses. The weight of one filled glass is 2.3 kg. There is also a competition in carrying the glasses on a 40 meter long track. The current world record – 29 glasses – was reached on 3rd of September 2017 by Oliver Strümpfel. The female champion is Anita Schwarz with 19 beer glasses (November 2008).
For more information please read our main article about Oktoberfest.
Text: © Copyright Robert, Travelpotpourri
Fotos: © Copyright Robert, Travelpotpourri