Let’s see, where do I even begin. Oktoberfest in Munich is like a big giant carnival for adults. There are rides. There is food. And as one would expect there is lots and lots of beer. They claim 7 million liters are consumed during the 2 week event. What I didn’t expect? The famed beer “tents” to be not tents at all but giant buildings the size of a rocket ship hangar that seat up to 10,000 people.

Augustiner Brau tent sometime in the middle of the afternoon

Paulaner Tent, exactly 9:15am. Notice the mass of people waiting to get in.

The whole town dresses up in Dirndls and Lederhosen (think Heidi garb). Heaven forbid you drink beer without looking the part. Any excuse to wear a costume is a-okay with me, so clearly I had to get in on the action.

A Dirndl. Think St. Pauli Girl. And an elusive Petunia sighting.

Every 20 minutes or so the oompah band in your tent strikes up a tune (the same tune, every 20 minutes) and you are supposed to sing along and drink to the health of everyone at your table. Clearly they just want you to buy more beer. The words are Ein Prosit, ein Prosit Der Gemütlichkeit (and repeat). Ein Prosit means ‘a toast’ and apparently Gemütlichkeit means ‘to cheer and good times.’ I’m not going to lie, I sat through two days of singing this and I never actually learned that word. A google search was necessary upon my return home. No matter!

Another tent. I have no idea which one. It was a long several days.

Beer is served exclusively in liter steins. This is a LOT of beer.


You can buy condoms, a drug test, painkillers, and tampons all from the same vending machine and all for 3 Euros. How convenient!

Misty, gray early morning

Check out the eagle on the biggest stein

There was a carousel converted into a bar. It even turned around (VERY slowly).

Even Anonymous needs to drink some beer sometimes.

It was fabulous to see old friends and meet new ones, and the camaraderie with other Oktoberfesters was beautiful. People make room for you at their tables, strike up conversations, and within minutes you are toasting each other like long lost siblings. We met 16 year olds from Munich, 60 year olds from Frankfurt, businessmen from Gujarat, a whole gaggle of (very cute) American boys from New Orleans, and lots of people in between.

Pork and sauerkraut and potatoes. Stick to your ribs food.

Beergarden - so pretty

Confectionary hearts

The aftermath: Munich's Hauptbanhof 6am Sunday morning. No, I did not sleep there.

Verdict? Something to see, tons of fun, but I don’t think I can handle that much beer in one weekend ever again. It might be several years before I muster up the courage to try this again. I’ll just have to gaze longingly at the Dirndl in my closet, which I fully intend to wear as my Halloween costume for the next 10 years.


About Petunia

She wore rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes And I knew without asking she was into the blues She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her curls I knew right away she was not like other girls ~The Grateful Dead
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7 Responses to Oktoberfest

  1. RW says:

    see? Anonymous is everywhere. Cuz, like, we’re legion & stuff. Love the multi-product vending apparatus; does it have postcards with more elusive Petunia sightings on it? You could have a whole blog on that.

  2. M.Lane says:

    Awwww comeon……………you’ll go with me next year wont you? I’ll meet you there……….STEINS for ALLLLL


  3. Paul Sanchez says:

    Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my viewers would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.

  4. I think it looks like fun but maybe not my thing… I don’t like beer, however I do like people watching. We were in Munich a few years ago about three weeks before Oktoberfest and I could not believe the size of the tents they were setting up!!!

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