WHEN IS OKTOBERFEST, YOU ASK?
Well, not in October, for starters. So when is Oktoberfest held in Munich, Germany?
Oktoberfest actually begins in September, though the dates are different every year. Oktoberfest typically lasts for 16 days (sometimes a day or two more) beginning on a Saturday in mid-September and ending on the first Sunday in October or on German Reunification Day (Oct 3rd), whichever is later. A lot to keep up with, huh? Good thing you haven’t started drinking yet, right? RIGHT!?
So why do they call it Oktoberfest and not Septemberfest? Or better yet, Bierandpretzelfest? Dirndlfest? Lederhosenarebestfest? Well, the first Oktoberfest actually did take place in October—from start to finish. It begun as a simple(ish) party held in honour of the wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese and took place from October 12th – October 17th, 1810. As the years passed and the celebrations continued (and grew), the decision was made to move the festival up to begin in September to allow for more favourable weather conditions. Biergartens in September > biergartens in October. Though the beer-and-pretzel-fest moved months, the name remained the same.
WHEN IS OKTOBERFEST, MORE SPECIFICALLY?
On that first day of Oktoberfest (in September, remember), Oktoberfestivities begin promptly at noon but only after the Lord Mayor of Munich taps the first keg and shouts, “O’zapft is!” From there, Oktoberfest typically runs from 10 am – 11:30 pm on weekdays and from 9 am – midnight on weekends (give or take a half hour). But isn’t it always Oktoberfest in our hearts?
WHEN IS OKTOBERFEST—THE DATES
Frustrated with all the calendar math? For specific dates of upcoming Oktoberfests, check out this page on Oktoberfest Dates where we’ve done all the hard work for you. On this page you can also find a rundown of beer tent and stall opening times, as well as operation times for attractions and shows.
Want to get even more “when is Oktoberfest” specific? Check out this year’s Schedule of (Really Awesome) Oktoberfest Events to find out when all the best parades, parties, and—because this is Oktoberfest—beer baptisms and crossbow shooting showdowns take place.
WHEN IS IT TIME TO START PLANNING YOUR OKTOBERFEST TRIP?
Like yesterday, son! Hurry up and grab your spot on one of our Oktoberfest Tours and let us worry about all that calendar math.