We have finally hit 2019 and that means we are in the year of the 40th annual Nashville Oktoberfest. The original Oktoberfest will also be hosting their annual celebration in Munich at the end of September. As we hit the new year and have started to prepare for the next celebration this fall, we thought it would be great to write about some of the differences you see between the various celebrations that occur within the United States and the original celebration held in Munich. There is no argument to be made that the festival that happens in Munich is the biggest and most traditional celebration of them all, but the American celebrations have produced adaptations of the original celebrations while adding their own twist to them.
The original Oktoberfest in Munich runs longer than any celebration that is held in the U.S. The Bavarian festival runs for a total of sixteen days. Compared to most of the festival held in the states, Munich celebrates 10-12 days longer. Most American celebrations run anywhere from three to five days max. Another difference we find in the two countries and the way they celebrate is that Germany starts earlier in the day. The celebration in Munich starts every day at 9 a.m. sharp. All the beer tents open up and the beer starts flowing. The American celebrations usually don’t open up to visitors during the pre-noon hours, however, Nashville Oktoberfest falls more in line with the Munich celebrations.
Although it may be common to see a few visitors at any given Oktoberfest dressed up in classic Bavarian dress, most visitors that attend the celebration in Munich will either be in lederhosen or dirndl. This is to pay homage to the traditional Bavarian garb, whereas American visitors wear it more for a laugh or costume. Most people that attend American celebrations come in their normal attire with only a small percentage of attendees getting in the full spirit of the festival.
If you have ever attended the Oktoberfest in Munich and plan to make a trip again, be prepared to drink the same beer. This is because the celebration in Munich sticks to the tradition of only serving the “Bavarian Six” which refers to the only breweries in Bavaria that adhere to the strict purity laws they have set in place. Many celebrations held in America will offer local craft brewery selections on top of these traditional Bavarian breweries.
Although the two countries may celebrate the festival a little different, the one thing you will always find at any Oktoberfest is a great beer and you will always be able to make a new friend or two. Oktoberfest is a great time of year, and we look forward to hosting the 40th annual celebration in Historic Germantown again at Nashville Oktoberfest.