More than 200 years ago Europe took a breather from the Napoleonic wars which savaged the continent and threw a wedding celebration which became an immediate hit and laid the foundation for Munich’s Oktoberfest, a fall harvest tradition which has spread across the world.
In 1810 King Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria invited his subjects to celebrate the marriage of his son, Ludwig, to Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (yep that Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen). It was held in a pasture outside of Munich which became known as Theresienwiese (‘Therese’s Meadow’) in honor of the new Crown Princess.
Today that same land (now surrounded by a bustling German metropolis) is home to Munich’s Oktoberfest an annual tradition which this year drew an incredible 6.2 million people for its 16-day run which just ended a few days ago.
Yep, Munich’s Oktoberfest 2017 officially wrapped up last week and visitors from around the world are probably still staggering home.
According to festival officials, this year’s beerganza may have been the biggest ever, with visitors from over 60 countries, who recklessly consumed nearly 7.2m liters of beer, countless bratwursts, pork knuckles, pretzels and oxen(!).
They also lost 1,300 passports (good luck flying home), 620 pieces of clothing (that can happen when you’re feeling festive), 600 wallets, 520 smartphones and cellphones, 360 keys, 325 pairs of glasses, 120 umbrellas, 100 bags and backpacks, 95 pieces of jewelry and 15 cameras…so there’s that.
Also misplaced were a set of dentures (oops!), a pair of crutches, a drinking horn (we’re not at all surprised by that), a pair of leather pants (again) and a luxury lady’s watch by Carl F. Bucher (we’ve been looking for that…who can we call?).
Banner Oktoberfest image by Heinrich Adam: © Andreas Praefcke/Wikimedia Commons