Oktoberfest is the largest beer festival in the world, and while it was originally held annually in Munich, Germany, Oktoberfest celebrations can now be found all over the world. While they may not all be as extravagant as Germany’s celebrations, here are OROGOLD’s picks of some of the biggest Oktoberfest celebrations in the world.
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, Canada
The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest in Ontario, Canada, is one of the biggest outside of Germany, attracting over a million visitors each year. The celebrations take place on nine days, spread out over 18 days, and, with the area having a rich German heritage, the festivities are always quite authentic. With parades, hearty German cuisine, official keg-tapping, Bavarian dancing, and other cultural attractions, it is no surprise that the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is considered to be one of the best outside of Munich. However, although the festival does celebrate German culture, it also incorporates some unique Canadian traditions, such as a barrel rolling competition, a rock concert titled ‘Rocktoberfest’, and a strong emphasis on local beers.
Of course, Munich’s Oktoberfest celebrations, where it all began, are the biggest in the world. This 16-day folk festival runs from mid-September into October, with 2015’s festival welcoming over 6 million people. The different beers that you will find at the Munich celebrations have been brewed within Munich’s city limits, as this is an important criterion for brews to be considered Oktoberfest beers. These Oktoberfest beers also have around 1% more alcohol and sugar than other German beers, making it even easier for festival-goers to forget about their worries and enjoy the celebrations. With over 7 million litres of beer served each year, it is important to make sure that you keep your stomach filled with food, and with all of the German cuisine on offer, this is not at all difficult. OROGOLD recommends tasting some of the local Bavarian specialties, such as the white sausage or Obatzda, a spicy cheese-butter spread.
Oktoberfest Blumenau, Brazil
Blumenau in Brazil could easily be mistaken for a quaint Bavarian town. In the later part of the 19th Century, the region became home to many German immigrants, meaning that the majority of the town’s residents today have a German heritage. Once you know this, it feels surprising that this Brazilian town holds one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the world, welcoming around 700,000 visitors each year. This festival is the place to go for those that want to experience an authentic German Oktoberfest, but with a unique Brazilian twist. Traditional German dancing is mixed with a touch of Samba, while the music that is played over the course of the three-week festival is both German as well as Brazilian.
Oktoberfest is a way to experience German traditions and culture, no matter where in the world you may be. Although the Oktoberfest celebrations that OROGOLD has highlighted may be some of the biggest that you can find, there are many other smaller, yet equally festive, celebrations that are held all over the world, so take a look to see what is being held near you!