We've reached the time of year again when it’s acceptable — encouraged even — to drink ungodly amounts of beer and wear outfits almost identical to Hansel and Gretel’s. It's Oktoberfest!
The Munich fete, which runs from Sept. 22 to Oct. 7, will celebrate its 179th anniversary this year. The festival includes circus-like tents hosted by breweries, which will be packed with visitors from all over the world. There, you’ll find the best bratwurst, roast chicken, and pretzels you've ever had; braid-clad barmaids in dirndls; fantastic folk music; and some of the finest beers you’ll ever taste.
Though branded "Oktoberfest," the celebration was moved to late September soon after its inception so patrons could enjoy the warmer weather and celebrate later into the night without getting too chilly.
Here’s another fun fact: The party isn't confined to Munich — all over Germany there are similar festivals happening. And across the globe, countries host their own Oktoberfests designed to mirror those in Munich.
In case you can't get to Germany (or your local Oktoberfest) this year, we're here to show you how to create one at home.
So here it goes, Oktoberfest 101:
1. Head outside: The weather, though getting cooler each day, is still warm enough to have a party out in the open. If you’re going to do celebrate in your yard, rent picnic tables or long tables and cover them with blue and white tablecloths — the Bavarian colors. If you want to, spring for a large tent and hang décor from the ceiling.
2. The tunes: Go for folk music; if you have any band buddies, have them set up shop and play the classic jams of the festival. If not, pick up a polka CD or hire folk musicians.
3. The attire: Go all out. Gents, wear lederhosen and ladies, throw on a dirndl — they’ll make great Halloween costumes later on, just do it. If you don’t want to spend the money, you can certainly work some DIY magic.
4. Food: Create a traditional meal with all of the right dishes: bratwurst, sauerkraut, roasted chicken, hot potato salad, and crusty bread. And don't forget the hot soft pretzels with mustard. As for dessert, your best bets are black forest cake or apple strudel.
5. Drink: Buy a few kegs of German beer and invest in some steins — this is going to be an annual bash after all, right?