Oktoberfest 2008

I think the name spells Beerto millions of people around the world, but to a traditional Bavarian it is more of a way of having good fun (of course coupled with beer)!

I think the name spells Beer to millions of people around the world, but to a traditional Bavarian it is more of a way of having good fun (of course coupled with beer)!

From what I observed Oktoberfest was more of a people’s fest here in Germany. Indeed there were many English speaking tourists – more number than what I’ve seen during the past one month here! But the opening ceremony seemed more fun for the locals than for the rest.

I also got to know that some tourists also go to a nearby fest where the drinking starts a day or two in advance, but to me that sounds more like an excuse to drink than to see the actual festivities but the locals don’t seem to mind; after all the more the merrier!

There was this parade which began roughly one hour before the actual beer drinking started; one wagon after another followed (beautifully decorated with flowers) filled people drinking beer, beer pulling horses, beer, barrels of beer, carloads of beer! Need I say more.

Of course there were a lot of instrumentalists stringing and beating instruments to their beautiful folk tunes. People had really taken pains to adorn themselves with typical Bavarian costumes. This was real good to watch and to simply put it added more color to the fest 😮 )

My cam couldn’t get enough of the colors and merriment around. This was in no way unexpected considering this is the biggest Volksfest in Europe (and biggest beer fest in the world)!

I keep the most obvious fact to the end – people were drinking; to their full (if at all there really is such a thing as FULL)! A twelve shot cracker was fired sharp at noon by the mayor of the city and the beer tents came ALIVE! There were jugs the size of flower pots and people simply kept re-fueling 😉 themselves. There were people in all ages drinking an alarming amount of the traditional Bavarian drink! I am told that beer is more of a health drink to the Germans rather than being considered alcoholic like they do in rest of the world!

We had a good time just watching the parade, the vibrant colors, the tradition and of course the rides – they seemed fantastic as usual!

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Author: Rajesh Narayanan

A small speck of dust in the ever expanding ether

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