The birth of Oktoberfest happened during the early nineteenth century —1810, to be specific— on King Ludwig’s wedding day to Princess Therese as a means of paying homage to the royal family, or as we see it; a gigantic afterparty to eat, drink, and watch horse racing. During the first few years of the festival, besides being linked to the royal family, Oktoberfest was also an event to celebrate Bavarian agriculture with games such as horse racing, tree climbing, bowling, and parades. It only started gaining global traction in the ’60s, which led to other countries hosting their own versions of Oktoberfest, consequently the celebration went from hosting 40,000 people during its first year to close to 6.4 million visitors by 2013. Naturally, that resulted to a consumption of 6.7 million litters of beer — the number grows each year.
Oktoberfest in Munich is typically celebrated for 16 days in the middle of September but the duration varies for every country that hosts this beer enthusiast’s dream festival. In Hong Kong, the fest runs for 23 days and considers itself to be the longest-running outdoor Oktoberfest in Asia and goes by the name of Marco Polo German Beer Festival, which is a little confusing but it’s a beer fest all the same. Meanwhile, Japan celebrates it almost all-year round with pre-festival parties — aka small Oktoberfest celebrations — that begin in March (any reason to drink, right?) as a lead up to the huge party in October. Then, there’s Brazil that hosts the festival for close to a month in the city of Blumeanu, which its namesake, German philosopher Hermann Bruno Otto Blumenau, founded with 17 other countrymen in 1850. It’s considered to be one of the grandest Oktoberfest celebrations outside of Munich with more than half a million visitors each year.
The United States bring the festival to another level, of course. The largest celebration in this part of the world goes down in Cinncinnati over a weekend and being in the land of where our ‘large’ is their ‘small’, you can expect food to play a huge roll in their festival with over 80,000 bratwursts and 23,000 pretzels being devoured each year. We can only imagine how much money each brewery cashes out after each festival… we may have gotten into the wrong profession.
As we’ve established, beer plays the most prominent role in this festival, which is exactly why the kind folks at GAB is giving away two (2) crates of beer (1 Heineken + 1 Kirin Ichiban) and two (2) personalised Oktoberfest mugs (each coming in different designs) to 5 winners each.
To win, all you have to do is answer the following question:
Q: How are you celebrating this year’s Oktoberfest with GAB?
Send your answer by Sunday 18 October ’15 along with your full name, IC, and handphone number with the subject ‘GAB Oktoberfest Giveaway’ to [email protected]. Winners will be notified immediately via email.
Learn about what GAB has planned for Oktoberfest via their official Facebook page here.