Oktoberfest celebrations

Last updated
Oktoberfest VGBelgrano.jpg
Observed byGermany, the Americas, Oceania and the world
SignificanceCelebration of the German culture
CelebrationsParades, food, music, folkloric dancing
DateThird Saturday in September
2018 dateSeptember 15  (2018-09-15)
2019 dateSeptember 21  (2019-09-21)
2020 dateSeptember 19  (2020-09-19)
2021 dateSeptember 18  (2021-09-18)
Related to Oktoberfest

The Oktoberfest is a two-week festival held each year in Munich, Germany during late September and early October. It is attended by six million people each year and has inspired numerous similar events using the name Oktoberfest in Germany and around the world, many of which were founded by German immigrants or their descendants.

Oktoberfest worlds largest Volksfest

Oktoberfest is the world's largest Volksfest. Held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, it is a 16- to 18-day folk festival running from mid or late September to the first Sunday in October, with more than six million people from around the world attending the event every year. Locally, it is often called the Wiesn, after the colloquial name for the fairgrounds, Theresa's meadows (Theresienwiese). The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since the year 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations that are modeled after the original Munich event.

Munich Capital and most populous city of Bavaria, Germany

Munich is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria, the second most populous German federal state. With a population of around 1.5 million, it is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, and thus the largest which does not constitute its own state, as well as the 12th-largest city in the European Union. The city's metropolitan region is home to 6 million people. Straddling the banks of the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps, it is the seat of the Bavarian administrative region of Upper Bavaria, while being the most densely populated municipality in Germany. Munich is the second-largest city in the Bavarian dialect area, after the Austrian capital of Vienna.


Around the world

Outside of Germany, the largest Oktoberfest is in Kitchener, Ontario and surrounding cities in Waterloo Region, attracting over 700,000 visitors annually. The next largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany is mostly regarded as being in Blumenau, Brazil with (700,000+ visitors), [1] Cincinnati, Ohio, United States (500,000+ visitors) [2] and the Denver Oktoberfest Denver, Colorado, United States (450,000+ visitors). [3] In New York City, there is even an Oktoberfest held under a big tent along the city's East River. [4] However, the largest one mostly depends on specific year's numbers and varies with sources. [5] Currently Oktoberfest is spreading to new geographical locations; starting in September 2007, Montreal began hosting its own Oktoberfest. One can find Oktoberfest celebrations mixing German traditions, food and beer with local culture outside of Germany. [6]

Kitchener, Ontario City in Ontario, Canada

Kitchener is a city in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario. Located approximately 100 km (62 mi) west of Toronto, Kitchener is the regional seat. Kitchener was called Berlin until 1916, designated the Town of Berlin from 1854 until 1912 and the City of Berlin from 1912 until 1916.

Blumenau Place in South, Brazil

Blumenau is a city in Vale do Itajaí, state of Santa Catarina, in the South Region of Brazil. It is 130 km (81 mi) away from the state capital of Florianópolis.

Ohio U.S. state in the United States

Ohio is a Midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Of the fifty states, it is the 34th largest by area, the seventh most populous, and the tenth most densely populated. The state's capital and largest city is Columbus. Ohio is bordered by Pennsylvania to the east, Michigan to the northwest, Lake Erie to the north, Indiana to the west, Kentucky on the south, and West Virginia on the southeast.


The National Beer Festival (Fiesta Nacional de la Cerveza) is Argentina's version of the German Oktoberfest. It has taken place every October since 1963 in Villa General Belgrano, Córdoba. The party emerged by the hand of the first German immigrants. This festival attracts thousands of tourists for two consecutive weekends.

The National Beer Festival is Argentina's version of the German Oktoberfest. It has taken place every October since 1963. This festival attracts thousands of tourists for two consecutive weekends. Today it is the largest in Latin America after Oktoberfest of Blumenau, Brazil.

Argentina Federal republic in South America

Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. The sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

Villa General Belgrano Village in Córdoba, Argentina

Villa General Belgrano, a small mountain village of 6,260 inhabitants is named after the creator of the Argentine flag Manuel Belgrano and located in a lush green valley of Calamuchita in the hills in the Province of Córdoba in central Argentina.


In Australia, the universities are notorious in their celebrations of Oktoberfest every year, and as students graduated and moved on, this rolled over into pubs and restaurants in the university areas. After the 2012 Oktoberfest Party the university council banned the celebration of the festival on university campus grounds. [7]

Following the end of many of the university based events a private event company, Nokturnl Events, launched 'Oktoberfest in the Gardens' [8] in the Supreme Court Gardens, Perth on 7 October 2011. The event has since expanded to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. The event now attracts over 50,000 patrons annually making it the largest Oktoberfest celebration in Australia.

Supreme Court Gardens park in Australia

Supreme Court Gardens is a park in the central business district of Perth, Western Australia, bounded by Riverside Drive, Barrack Street, Governors Avenue, and the buildings of the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Royal Melbourne Oktoberfest is held within the world heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne. Oktoberfest In The Gardens is held in Melbourne Showgrounds. Sydney also have their instalment of this event located within Australia Technology Park.

Royal Exhibition Building building in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The Royal Exhibition Building is a World Heritage-listed building in Melbourne, Australia, built in 1879-80 as part of the international exhibition movement, which presented over 50 exhibitions between 1851 and 1915 around the globe. The building sits on 64 acres, is 150 meters long and is surrounded by four city streets. It is located at 9 Nicholson Street in the Carlton Gardens, flanked by Victoria, Carlton and Rathdowne Streets, at the north-eastern edge of the central business district. It was built to host the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880–81, and then hosted the even larger Centennial International Exhibition in 1888, and the formal opening of the first Parliament of Australia in 1901. The building is representative of the money and pride Victoria had in the 1870s. Throughout the 20th century smaller sections and wings of the building were subject to demolition and fire; however, the main building, known as the Great Hall, survived.

Melbourne Showgrounds event venue in Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Showgrounds is located in the inner north-western suburb of Ascot Vale, Victoria, Australia, next door to Flemington Racecourse. The largest and most flexible indoor/outdoor venue space in Melbourne the Showgrounds is the home of the annual Royal Melbourne Show, as well as major exhibitions, trade shows, and music concerts, including the Supanova Pop Culture Expo, the Caravan & Camping Touring Supershow and MotoExpo.

Australian Technology Park business and technology centre in Sydney, Australia

The Australian Technology Park (ATP) is a business and technology centre in Eveleigh, an inner-city suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located about 3 km south of the Sydney central business district, adjacent to Redfern railway station, spread over 13.9 hectares of land.

The Harmonie German Club, Canberra, holds an Oktoberfest over a three-day period every year in October. The festival has been held for over 45 years, and attracts a large number of visitors from Canberra and surrounding regions. [9] In 2017 the event moved over the border to Queanbeyan in New South Wales and was held on 27 – 29 October. [10] [11]

Brisbane celebrates its annual Brisbane Oktoberfest, which is considered Australia's largest German festival. It is held over the first two weekends in October and offers a variety of German beers, wines and food, beer hall music and dance and singing performances.

Since 1984, an annual Oktoberfest celebration has been held in the seaside village of Emu Park on Queensland's Capricorn Coast. The event is held in the town's Bell Park and is organised by the local Lions Club. [12] [13]


In Brazil there are several Oktoberfests around the country, most of them in towns settled by Germans and Austrians in the Southern portion of the country (like the Oktoberfest of Blumenau, the Oktoberfest of Itapiranga, the Oktoberfest of Igrejinha, the Oktoberfest of Santa Cruz do Sul, the Oktoberfest of Rolândia, the Oktoberfest of São Jorge d'Oeste, the Oktoberfest of Ponta Grossa, the Oktoberfest of Marechal Cândido Rondon, among others). There are also Oktoberfests in other portions of the country (like the Oktoberfest in der Altstadt von Olinda, the Oktoberfest Cearense in Guaramiranga, the Oktoberfest do Club Transatlântico and the Oktoberfest do Brooklin in São Paulo, among others). The Oktoberfest of Blumenau is one of the largest German festivals around the world, attracting around one million people every year.


In Canada there is an annual nine-day celebration spread over 18 days in Kitchener, Ontario. It attracts over 700,000 visitors annually. [14] While its most popular draws are the beer-based celebrations, other cultural and entertainment attractions also fill the week. The most well-known is the parade held on Thanksgiving Day. As the only major parade on Canadian Thanksgiving, it is televised nationally. Coincidentally, the closing day of the Bavarian Oktoberfest also falls on the German equivalent of Thanksgiving, Erntedankfest .

The twin cities and surrounding area have a long history of German roots. Kitchener was formerly named Berlin. A significant portion of the population of Kitchener and surrounding areas identify themselves as being of German descent, and many still speak German. A common phrase at the celebrations is Gemütlichkeit, German for congeniality, or warm friendliness.

Oktoberfest celebrations are also held annually in Sherbrooke, Quebec at the beginning of October. The one night event is held by Université de Sherbrooke's Engineering Students' Association. It draws approximately 6,000 revellers each year. [15]

Two smaller events take place in the Greater Toronto Area:


In Chile bierfests are celebrated in Valdivia, Puerto Octay, Puerto Varas, Frutillar and Llanquihue and Malloco.



In Colombia it is sponsored by Bavaria Brewery. A series of concerts and events are held along different cities, with special emphasis in those with German background like Bucaramanga.


Oktoberfest celebrations have become very popular with Indian hotels, restaurants and malls. Numerous such events happen in Indian metros in October. The most significant one is held since 2009 by the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce in Pune, traditionally a large hub of German companies in India. [25] [26]


An Oktoberfest celebration is held in the town of Taybeh, home to the only Arab brewery in the Land of Israel (Taybeh Brewery). The first Taybeh Oktoberfest was held in 2005. [27]


Oktoberfest beer and music festival celebrations held usually from September up to December. It is organized by San Miguel Brewery, which is the makers of San Miguel Beer and other alcoholic beverages. The 2015 edition of their Oktoberfest, was coincided with the 125th anniversary of San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen. [28]


South Africa

Oktoberfest is celebrated annually in mid September at various German schools around the country most notably the Deutsche Schule Pretoria.

South Korea

Oktoberfest celebration is held in the Namhae county of Gyeongsang. [30]

Sri Lanka

Oktoberfest celebration is held in Colombo, Sri Lanka every year.[ citation needed ]

United States

German-Americans are the largest self-reported ancestral group in the United States. Correspondingly[ vague ], there are hundreds of large and small Oktoberfest celebrations held annually throughout the country, the largest being Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Oktoberfest in Redwood City, California Oktoberfest in Redwood City, California.JPG
Oktoberfest in Redwood City, California
Oktoberfest in Tulsa, Oklahoma. TulsaOktoberfest2014.jpeg
Oktoberfest in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Known for its large German immigrant population, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its historic Pennsylvania Dutch (Pennsylvania Deutsch) population are well known to have many Oktoberfest celebrations during the months of September and October. These celebrations became increasingly popular among the general Commonwealth population in the later half of the 20th century with the rise of microbreweries, and with the opening of authentic German brew houses such as Hofbrauhaus in Pittsburgh, PA.

Other major celebrations across the United States include those at:


Oktoberfest celebrations are co-organized annually by the German Business Association in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. [42] In 2012, Oktoberfest Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City celebrated its 20th year with a seven-day event. [43]


German Venezuelan community celebrating Oktoberfest in Colonia Tovar, Venezuela German Venezuelans celebrating Oktoberfest at Colonia Tovar (Venezuela).jpg
German Venezuelan community celebrating Oktoberfest in Colonia Tovar, Venezuela

In Venezuela, specifically in Colonia Tovar, [44] it is held annually since 1970 . Sometimes music groups have been invited from Germany to interpret typical music. The Historic center of Colonia Tovar has a population of about 10,000 inhabitants and it is estimated that during the days of the event the town receives twice of visitors. In Greater Caracas, it's celebrated in the suburb of El Hatillo, [45] [46] it's sponsored by the embassy of Germany and Poland, and the German-speaking Catholic Community.


Oktoberfest is celebrated annually in Zambia around 10 October at Fringilla, Chisamba, Central Province and many other various locations in Lusaka.




Note that traditional fairs in Bavaria, called Dult, Volksfest (popular festival) etc., are similar to the Oktoberfest in nature (not in size), but not called Oktoberfest as they did not arise in imitation of it. Of these, the Gäubodenvolksfest of Straubing enjoys particular fame.

Munich - The Original
Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.jpg
Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany


An entrance arch to Oktoberfest Hannover in 2005. 20050925-oktoberfest-hannover-archway.jpg
An entrance arch to Oktoberfest Hannover in 2005.

The Oktoberfest Hannover is a fair which takes place every year at the end of September/beginning of October in Oktoberfest ], Germany. It usually lasts 17 days and features 140 rides and inns, two large beer tents seating more than a thousand people each, and numerous stands, beer gardens and five small beer tents offering food and refreshments. The program consists of a Dirndl-Competition, three Fireworks, two Family-Days, a hand lantern parade for kids and a backstage tour. You can get a special festival-beer from the local brewery "Brauerei Herrenhausen", the "Lüttje Lage" (an alcoholic speciality of Hannover) and many food from Lower Saxony and Bavaria. With around one million visitors each year, it is the second-largest Oktoberfest in Germany.


Oktoberfest in Berlin continues to grow. Several large areas, including Alexanderplatz and Zentraler Festplatz, are turned into Bavarian-like beer and food tents. Live brass Bavarian bands play at venues around town and people can be seen in traditional Bavarian dress around the city. Many places also serve the official Oktoberfest beers that are made in Munich. These events last from mid-September to early-mid October, and are the largest Oktoberfest events outside of Munich. [47]


Festival of Good Beer in Wroclaw, Poland FDP21.jpg
Festival of Good Beer in Wrocław, Poland

See also


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Oktoberfest tents

There are a series of tents at the Oktoberfest, which are operated by different Wiesn-hosts and in which some come from a long tradition. Some tents belong to the local breweries. The setup work for the tents often begins three months before the start of the festival.