On 22 September people will be saying “O’zapft is! (It’s tapped)” for the 179th time. The Munich Oktoberfest, which runs until 7 October, will again attract millions of visitors from around the world to the Bavarian state capital, mainly for the good Bavarian beer, traditional brass band music, numerous local delicacies, and of course, the lively atmosphere and renowned Bavarian cosiness.

Interesting facts about beer

Brewed especially for the Oktoberfest and according to the Reinheitsgebot (purity requirement) of 1516, the Oktoberfest beer has a higher original gravity and thus higher alcohol content (around 6%) than conventional beer. Only breweries in the Munich city area are authorised to sell it. Last year 8 million litres of beer were sold to almost 7 million visitors. In 2012, the price of a litre will be between €9.10 and €9.50.

picture source: flickr (idirectori)

Central Agricultural Festival 2012

Every four years the Oktoberfest shares the area of the Theresienwiese with the Central Agricultural Festival (ZLF) and this is one of those years. From 22 to 30 September, there will be national and international forestry and agricultural exhibitors in the southern section of the festival ground. For example, in the “Big Ring”, a type of racecourse, different horse shows will take place each day.
That’s why the historic traditional fair, also known as “Oide Wiesn”, has been cancelled this year due to lack of space.

What’s new at the Oktoberfest 2012?

This year visitors to the Oktoberfest can expect lots of new things. For example, for the first time they’ll be able to admire an orchestrion from the 1950s in the eastern section of the festival ground. The pipe organ consists of ten instruments including accordions, trombones and xylophones and has a repertoire of over 500 songs.

picture source: flickr (digital cat)

Visitors can also expect enhanced safety measures. This year, because of the risk of injury and to ensure greater safety for visitors, no glass bottles may be taken into the Oktoberfest site.

Special events during Oktoberfest 2012

This year you can look forward to some particular traditions and highlights during Oktoberfest:
On Saturday 22 September the annual arrival of the Oktoberfest landlords and the opening ceremony will take place at 11 am in the Schottenhammel festival tent.
The traditional Oktoberfest costumes and riflemen’s parade through Munich city centre on Sunday 23 September will begin at 10 am. The Oktoberfest and memorial service will be held at 10 am on Thursday 27 September in the Hippodrome.
Another special highlight on Sunday 30 September at 11 am is the city concert in the Wiesn Chapel on the steps of the Bavaria statue. On Sunday 7 October there will be a traditional gun salute at 12 pm to mark the end of Oktoberfest 2012.

Seat reservations during the Oktoberfest

No further reservations can be taken for the festival tents. That’s why we have a special secret tip for you: visit the Mittagswiesn at lunchtime on Monday to Thursday and you can enjoy traditional brass band music and Bavarian hospitality in a relaxed atmosphere in theArmbrustschützentent without needing a reservation.

Oktoberfest opening hours

The beer tents are all open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 10.30 pm and from 9am to 10.30 pm on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
The opening hours of the stalls and rides are Monday to Friday from 10 am to 11 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to midnight and public holidays from 10 am to 11.30 pm.

picture source: flickr (JasonParis)

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