Which Annual Event Started Out As A Wedding Reception?
Oktoberfest is a fair held in the German city of Munich. Although Oktoberfest implies the festivities take place in October, the fun actually starts in late September and runs until the first Sunday in October. The fair runs 17-18 days (depending on how the dates fall on any given year) and features live music, games, traditional food, and, of course, beer.
While it would be easy to assume that Oktoberfest is a party for the sake of a party, that’s only half the story. The original Oktoberfest (long before it had such a designation) was actually a massive wedding reception thrown by the German royal family to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig (who would later become King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in 1810. The reception was held in enormous tents set up in fields outside the city of Munich and lasted for days.
The event was so much fun and so well received by the citizens of Munich that the next year they threw an even longer party. Once you establish a tradition that involves good food and beer, horse races, and a welcome break from work, it tends to stick. Ever since Germans (and many happy tourists) have enjoyed the continuation of a rocking 19th century wedding reception.
Image courtesy of Penta.