11 Things You Didn't Know About Oktoberfest

Before you swig the beer and nosh on the bretzels, learn these interesting facts

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

We bet you didn’t know these fascinating facts about the Oktoberfest festival.

When fall arrives, we default to a few annual milestones. It is the return of heading back to school, tailgating, and of course, incredible fall food. But for some, fall isn’t just a celebration for leaf peepers. The end of summer marks the beginning of another time-honored tradition folks look forward to all year: Oktoberfest.

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Whether you are of German descent or just love the heck out of seasonal beer, when Oktoberfest rolls around you’re likely ready to have fun. Oktoberfest is more than just a celebration where you don dirndls and munch on bretzels. It is actually the beginning of a huge festival that really celebrates the cultural traditions of the German (particularly, Bavarian) people.

Oktoberfest began as a wedding celebration and horse racing festival that slowly grew over time, and today seems to be growing with more and more fervor. As many as five to seven million people attend this festival every year in Munich from all over the world; there are amusements, agricultural attractions, and of course, a ton of food and beer. Folks eat lots of of delicious, authentic roasted pork, piles of wurst, and of course schnitzel, all while enjoying a beer from one of Munich's six major breweries.

Whether you are traveling to Munich this year to celebrate in a tent or are hosting an Oktoberfest party in your backyard, there are a few quirky historical facts worth learning. So “Prost!” und “Zum Wohl!” Here are some fun facts for you to toast to at your Oktoberfest celebration.

Oktoberfest Isn’t in October

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Oktoberfest did begin in October (Oktober in Germany) but it didn’t stay there. The 16-day festival moved to September as the popularity of the celebration grew, since it begins to get quite cold in Bavaria in October. It typically begins around the September 20 and ends during the first weekend in October.

It’s a Bavarian Thing

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People often think that Oktoberfest is a custom celebrated by the entirety of Germany. And while people all over the country do celebrate it, it really is a reflection of uniquely Bavarian culture, music, and food.

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