Waldsee Celebrations: Oktoberfest!
Published: September 29, 2019
Oktoberfest is one of the most well-known and widely celebrated events in the world, with millions of visitors every year at the official festival in München (Munich). We even celebrate Oktoberfest annually here at Waldsee. With the Wurzelbier (root beer) flowing and festival games around the camp, Oktoberfest is always a blast!
While Oktoberfest is known as the world’s biggest beer festival, it did not start out that way. The first Oktoberfest was held in München as a celebration of the wedding of König Lüdwig I and Prinzessin Therese in October 1810. The festival was held in the city fields and hosted a horse race, which has become an Oktoberfest tradition. The famous Oktoberfest tents today are on the “Wiesn,” short for Theresienwiese (Therese’s field), in honor of the princess.
One of the most iconic Oktoberfest traditions is dressing in Tracht -- which we encourage campers and counselors to wear at Waldsee Oktoberfest celebrations! The word Tracht refers to the traditional Bavarian outfits, Dirndl for women and Lederhosen for men. While Dirndl and Lederhosen are widely thought to be traditional German clothing, Tracht is historically worn on special occasions in Bavaria and Austria.
But why does a festival named after the month of October start in September? In the 1800s, the festival began in October and was lengthened over time. The festival would then start at the end of September to allow for a few weeks of better weather for the outdoor event. The festival typically starts around September 20th and ends the first weekend in October.
If you can’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest this year, make sure to join us this summer for games, Bretzeln (pretzels), and viel Spaß (a lot of fun!)