While those in the Southern Hemisphere will be looking forward to the start of spring and the promise of summer, those in the Northern Hemisphere are digging out their warm clothes. It isn’t all bad news though, because cold weather is the perfect reason to eat warming comfort food and there’ll be plenty of that on offer to the millions of people who are or shortly will be heading to Munich for the famous Oktoberfest, most of which actually happens in September.
Obviously the focus of the event is on the outstanding range of beers in Munich (only beers from the city are allowed in the festival), but since it’s essentially the country’s biggest party, there’s plenty of other attractions starting with the food. There’s also plenty of music, traditional and otherwise and many locals (and visitors) see the event as an opportunity to dress in traditional Bavarian style with dirndl and lederhosen.
The event has its roots in a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 17, 1810. The area on which it is held is known as Theresienwiese (Theresa’s Meadow) or just “die Wies’n” – a name which is often given to the Oktoberfest itself.
It’s curious that although Germany produces many excellent wines, there is no equivalent party for wine drinkers. There are however plenty of wine festivals the world over, including in Australia which is now a globally respected wine producer. Those interested in heading to one can use a German NAATI translator to help them get their words straight before they arrive.