A Bit of Germany Gohar Mouradian Dr. Leanna Wolfe Anthropology 102 11/6/2010
A Short History
King Ludwig I, wanted his people to share in the celebration of his marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. Ludwig organized a horse race and invited all the people of Munich. The royal party drew about 40,000 guests, which was a huge outcome in the 19 th century. A good time, and a huge amount of beer, were had by all that first year. It was decided that the horse race would be held again in 1811 and then the Oktoberfest we know of today began.
40 years of German Festivities Oktoberfest is held annually at Alpine Village and has been for the past 40 years. The festival is celebrated in the beer garden which holds up to 3,000 people and includes a Bavarian Brass-Oom Pa Pa band from Germany, German dancers, contests, beer and delicious German food.
When I first arrived the band was setting up. Every year they have Brass-Oom Pa Pa band musicians from Germany come in and perform to make Alpine Village’s Oktoberfest feel as homely as possible for the German natives and those of the whom want to experience the Oktoberfest without leaving the country.
What is an Oktoberfest without the German food and beer?! Hofbräuhaus, Sauerkraut, Kartofel, Bratwurst, Weisswurst und Bretzel have to be one of the most delicious things I have tried.
Do the Chicken Dance
Since this day was a family day the celebration was full of games and competition. And what Oktoberfest would be complete without the Chicken Dance?! People got up and started to dance, some decided to simply be spectators.
A Stein holding competition?! The German ladies are showing off their strength and endurance. Go LADIES!
Now it’s the men’s turn
The men held out for over 5 minutes…One of the contestants thought he’d show off and began calling and texting friends…tsk tsk should have been concentrating on holding his Stein upright. The winners from the men’s and women’s group received prizes…and a sore arm.
The Arrival of the Vikings
An entire group of family and friends arrived at the Oktoberfest dressed as Vikings. I thought perhaps they were just “passing through.” But then I decided the Vikings and Bavarians are just having a family reunion.
Vikings at the show
I had nearly forgotten until one of them mentioned that it was a dress up in costumes day and the entire family had shown up as Vikings and even brought a cake that was in the shape of a Viking ship. It was a meshing of two cultures rather than just one, I just got lucky that day.
German/Viking dance fest
The Viking family and Johann, the German host from Munich had a bit to drink and were in front dancing and singing traditional Bavarian and Oktoberfest songs like “In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus.” When the line Eins, zwei, g’suffa(One, two, bottoms up) come up everyone raises their Steins and drinks up.
Germans in Motion
I never managed to get a nice still picture of them…but I think it makes it more interesting this way, more natural.
Tips, tips for the talented musicians
The musicians get up on the tables at the end of the festival (not frowned upon during the Oktoberfest but not the best idea during a Friday night dinner) and they play the last several songs of the evening with their socks rolled down to allow the crowd to give them tips by placing them into the socks. And in most cases this would be used as tips known as Trinkgeld in Germany literally translating to drink money. Till next year.
Twas a great place for family fun and the exploration of a different and fun group of people with the occasional hiccup from the extra Stein-full of Beer.