Oktoberfest isn't just for Germans anymore. People all
over the world celebrate this annual event. From the
Netherlands to Japan, from Brazil to the USA, people
don their mock dirndls and leather pants once a year.
question is: who started it, and why?
Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) of Bavaria (the
grandfather of “Mad” Ludwig II) started
it when he threw a wedding party on the occasion of
his marriage to Princess Theresia of Saxony-Hildburghausen
on October 12, 1810.
Ludwig gave an open invitation
to the people of Munich, and about 40,000 of them came. The
Prince set up tents in a field on the outskirts of Munich,
later called ‘Theresienwiese’ (Theresa’s
meadow) in honor of his lady. To entertain the crowd he organized
a horse race and supplied copious amounts of beer. Everyone
had such a good time that they decided to hold the horse race
(and beer drinking) again the next year, but this time in
conjunction with the state agricultural show. The rest, as
they say, is history. The local brewers realized that they
could sell a lot of beer in a very short time, the reason
why it has become a 16-day extravaganza ending the first Sunday
The horse race is no longer
a feature, but horses are, mainly to pull the huge beer wagons
that the breweries parade through town on opening day on their
way to the festival spot. The tents have gotten a little bigger,
too, they hold about 5,ooo people apiece. The agricultural
show continues to be a feature, though it is only held every
third year now.
Beer! Food! Music! What a way
to celebrate life! And the Sacramento Turn Verein invites
you to come and participate. So bring your mug, and Eat! Dance!
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