(Festival goers enjoying a delicious bier.)
October is one of my favorite months of the year. Aside from the start of the NBA season (the holiest of days), the month brings a special holiday that is near and dear to heart. Many might guess that it is Halloween. While I have nothing against Halloween, I am referring to holiday in which men and women wear much better costumes. I am talking, of course, about Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest is a festival that originated in Munich, Germany. It is held annually at the end of September and beginning of October. The festival is highlighted by parades, carnival attractions, and a delicious food market. Traditional Bavarian clothing, such as lederhosen and dirndls, are worn by many festival goers as a celebration of the region’s heritage. There is also live music and dance floors where people can go to have a good time in the way of the old country. However, there is one aspect of Oktoberfest that gives the holiday its legendary reputation around the world.
Beer. Or as the Germans call it…Bier. Oktoberfest beer is some of the finest crafted beer in the world. For the Munich Oktoberfest, only beer that is brewed according to traditional Munich beer standards is permitted to be served at the festival. Furthermore, all beer must be brewed within the city limits of Munich. The result is an amazing selection of some of the finest quality beer in the world.
(Löwenbräu is famous for its Oktoberfestbier, which is among my favorites.)
Many cities today have their own Oktoberfest celebrations. I recently attended the Oktoberfest celebration in Montrose, a suburban neighborhood in northern Los Angeles. The spirit of Munich was alive and well, despite it being a hot southern California day. The festival atmosphere was infectious. I met people from all around the area who were as enthusiastic as I was about the prospect of music, games, and social drinking. The only hard part was getting up the next morning.
Though Oktoberfest has passed us by, I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t experienced the holiday to mark it on the calendar for next year. Find a celebration in your area, grab yourself a nice pair of lederhosen, and get ready to have a blast. Or, if you can’t wait for next year, get out there now and bring some late Oktoberfest spirit to the world.