Oktoberfest is a tradition 200 years in the making. Its origins go back to the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in 1810. A momentous affair, the royal family invited the citizens of Munich to attend the wedding. To celebrate the marriage, singing, dancing, and horse races accompanied the momentous affair along with the construction of a tent in the King’s honor. In the years to follow, the citizens of Munich returned to Theresienweise each fall to celebrate the occasion in what soon became an annual tradition.
Opting for warmer weather, the city moved the festivities to September, beginning on the third Saturday in September at noon with the official tapping of the barrel by the lord mayor.
This tradition has not only gained fame across Bavaria, but is also widely celebrated by German-Americans across the United States. From coast to coast this year, thousands will be taking part in the fanfare donned in Bavarian Dirndls and Lederhosen.
The German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA® wishes you a Happy Oktoberfest and hope you are able to celebrate!