04 August 2022

Oktoberfest finally back on after two-year pandemic pause

04 August 2022

Germany’s famous Oktoberfest is finally on again this autumn after a two-year pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, the head of the famous beer festival has said.

“The Wiesn will take place,” Clemens Baumgaertner told reporters in Munich, using the Bavarian colloquialism for the Oktoberfest which refers to the big lawn, or Wiese, where the boozy celebrations take place.

He said the festival in the Bavarian capital will be held without any pandemic restrictions from September 17 to October 3 — Germany’s national day.

“It will take place like we know it from 2019, and not in any other way,” Mr Baumgaertner added.

Oktoberfest (Matthias Schrader/PA) (AP)

The Oktoberfest, first held in 1810 to mark the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese, has been cancelled dozens of times during its more than 200-year history due to wars and pandemics.

In the years before the coronavirus outbreak, around six million revellers visited the celebrations annually, many of them dressed in traditional Bavarian garb — the women in dirndl dresses, the men in lederhosen – knee-length leather trousers.

Some 487 breweries, restaurants, fish and meat grills, wine vendors and others will be present and opening hours will be even longer than in the past, with the first beer tents opening at 9am and closing at 10.30pm. Last orders will be at 9.30pm.

A litre mug of beer will cost between 12.60 and 13.80 euros (£11-£11.60), which is an increase of about 15% compared with 2019, according to the official Oktoberfest homepage.

Typical Bavarian dishes sold at the Oktoberfest include specialties such as the “slaughter plate” with blood and liver sausage and pork belly; pork roast with crunchy skin, bread dumplings and sauerkraut; and slices of roasted ox or braised venison ragout with homemade spaetzle pasta.

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