Oktoberfest originated in Munich, Bavaria, Germany as a festival which is celebrated for over sixteen to eighteen days at a stretch. The Oktoberfest usually starts during the later half of September and finally ends after celebrating the first Sunday in October as the final day of the festival. However, this is what the tradition is or rather was before the year 1994. After the West and the East was united into one Germany, the decision was that the Oktoberfest would go on till the 3rd of October (the reunification of Germany is celebrated on this day) even if the first Sunday came before the 3rd, that is on the 1st or the 2nd. In the year 2010, the Oktoberfest observed a change in schedule in honor of its 200th anniversary. Instead of ending it on the first Sunday, they decided to end the Oktoberfest on the first Monday in October last year.
The number of visitors that visit the Oktoberfest in Munich, Bavaria each year easily crosses the 5 million mark and that indeed is something you would expect from the world’s largest fair. Drinking beer and enjoying traditional German food items like the Knödel, Schweinshaxe or the Steckerfisch are very much a part of the celebration. Even outside Germany, the areas of the world which have a significant amount of German population, celebrate Oktoberfest and try to promote its popularity as best as they can.
The Oktoberfest began back in the year 1810 and since then, it has gone through some changes because it is not exactly celebrated in the same way that it used to be over 200 years ago. The festival used to host an agricultural show, a horse race and a lot of special food, but beer entered much later into the scenario and quickly became a very popular addition to the Oktoberfest. The horse race is not held anymore; in fact it was stopped back in 1960. The agricultural show however, is still held, but at a gap of four years. Parades became a part of the Oktoberfest during the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Therese Saxe-Hildburghausen in 1835. Under the leadership of the Münchner Kindl, eight thousand costumed Bavarians now walk through Munich and into the Oktoberfest celebrations.