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How to Celebrate the History of German Oktoberfest

If you can't make it across the pond, you can still celebrate Oktoberfest at home by following traditions -- and making a few of your own.


  • : Don't drink unless you're of legal age. Drink responsibly, and never drink and drive.
  • Step 1: Get married Get married. Since the original Oktoberfest was a wedding celebration, what better homage to the history of Oktoberfest than by having a wedding?
  • Step 2: Hit the track Go to the race track. The original Oktoberfest celebration was initially built around a horse race. Although the race has long been eliminated from the annual Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, you can keep the tradition alive -- and maybe even win some dough.
  • TIP: If you can't get to the track, hit an off-track betting location.
  • Step 3: Visit an agricultural show Visit your local agricultural show. Oktoberfest has featured an agricultural show since its inception, and still features one today.
  • Step 4: Eat sausage Cook some pork sausages. Annually, Oktoberfest celebrants consume more than 200,000 pairs of pork sausage, as well as 480,000 spit-roasted chickens over the two-week-long celebration.
  • Step 5: Drink beer Celebrate Oktoberfest by drinking traditional Oktoberfest beer. The common Oktoberfest beer is a style called Bavarian Maerzenbier. It's a dark copper-colored amber lager with a mildly hoppy flavor.
  • Step 6: Try other beers Try other German beers if you can't find authentic Maerzenbier. There are many widely available imports. Spaten, Paulaner, Ayinger, and Hacker-Pschorr all have comparable flavors to authentic Oktoberfest beer.
  • TIP: Beware of domestic beers that add the "Oktoberfest" label to any old style of beer just to cash in on the celebration.
  • Step 7: Don't overdo it Don't drink too much. The celebration lasts 16 days, so you'll want to be in it for the long haul. Tschuss!
  • FACT: The Schottenhamel Oktoberfest beer tent, which takes 10 weeks to construct and 5 weeks to dismantle, has a seating capacity of 7,500.

You Will Need

  • Wedding
  • Racetrack
  • Agricultural show
  • Sausage and chicken
  • Beer
  • Moderation
  • Off-track betting location (optional)
  • Knowledge of traditional Oktoberfest beer (optional)

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