You are worried that you won’t get your annual fix of beer, pretzels and sausages this year? Or you are finally in Europe but could not afford to go to Munich in the coming weeks? Don’t despair! There are plenty of ways to celebrate the Germans’ favorite party here in Sweden.
The largest beer festival in the world has its roots in the early 19th century, when the very first Oktoberfest was celebrated on October, 12 in 1810 in honor of the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Bavaria. To make use of the usually sunny and warm weather at the end of September, the festival was later moved a few weeks ahead and only the last weekend of the three-week festival takes place in October now. In the past years, the popularity of Oktoberfest has grown, so that more than six million people come to Munich each fall to drink beer and eat Bavarian food.
Only six local breweries are allowed to sell their beer at Oktoberfest in Munich. Hofbräu, which is best known for its Hofbräu Haus, has the strongest beer (6.3%) and the biggest tent on the Wiesn (Bavarian name for Oktoberfest). Spaten, founded in 1397, is served in four of the tents in Munich and is thus one of the most popular beers there. In Lund, Paulaner is the one that is easiest to get; it was originally brewed in a monastery and is the most recent addition of beers at Oktoberfest.
Besides the excellent choice in beer, Oktoberfest is a paradise for food lovers. Hearty and sweet delicacies of Bavarian cuisine can be found in every tent. In the morning, you should enjoy a pair of Weißwürste (white sausages) with Brezn (pretzels) and sweet mustard. This is considered breakfast and only served until 2pm. For lunch or dinner you eat Hendl (roasted chicken), often served with red cabbage and potato dumplings (Knödel). If you are vegetarian, you will love Kasspatzen, traditional German noodles with melted cheese and roasted onions on top.
If you want to enjoy your food in style, you should buy a traditional dirndl (dresses for women) or a pair of lederhosen (leather pants for men). You can order them online: For a high quality dirndl that you can wear for years to come, visit Zalando. If you are looking to make a short term investment, check out Lederhosen-shop. As an alternative to the dirndl you can wear jeans, a blouse and a checkered shirt or cardigan on top, braid your hair and wear some accessories, an edelweiss necklace, bracelet or a flower wreath in your hair. As a guy you may wear jeans and a nice checkered (red-white/light blue-white) shirt on top.
Dressed up and thirsty, you can now host your own Oktoberfest here in Sweden or alternatively you can join one of the nations in Lund that are celebrating it. Lunds nation is organizing Oktoberfest on October 10th, promising “traditional clothing, beer, food and spirit” and even “transforming the huge dance floor to a pub” to accommodate more people, as Helsingkrona nation also will has it’s Bavarian festival the same night.
As the Bavarians would say: O’zapft is! (The keg is tapped!)