Munich’s two-week Oktoberfest, which begins on the 22nd of September and lasts till the 6th of October, is where your most fanciful German stereotypes are brought to mystifying, beguiling life. Billed as the world’s biggest festival, the event is inundated with brawny, mustached old men slurping down litre-sized servings of frothy beer as waitresses, dressed in Dirndls – smock-like dresses pinched at the waist and bulging at the bust – serve platters of gooey pork knuckles, peppery Bratwurst and slabs of ox.
If you’re male, the uniform here is a snug pair of lederhosen, thick woolen socks pulled up past the calves and a checked shirt. Neckerchiefs provide an optional flourish. For women, the traditional Dirndl has been subjected to some modern embellishments. Younger girls often think tighter is better, and garters are good for securing wallets and phones.
You quickly learn from the outfits that this is an event where everyone gets into the spirit of things with gusto. If you are joining the six million or so people expected to attend the Oktoberfest this year, then you best get to booking flights and hotel accommodation here.
Modern-day revellers may give them only conciliatory acknowledgement, but the event owes its origins to Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. On October 12, 1810 the pair married and the people of Bavaria celebrated. They did so again the next year, and then the year after that, until the Oktoberfest became an established event. It is held on a 42-hectare site called the Theresienwiese (Therese’s fields) but the focus is no longer on the royal couple; it’s on beer.
Don’t be left out of this year’s fest, book your tickets now!
For more information on the fest: Telegraph.co.uk