Holiday Spotlight: Oktoberfest

Holiday Spotlight: Oktoberfest


It's a bit early, but one of our favorite cultural celebrations is coming up: Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest is the largest cultural heritage festival celebrated in the world. It takes place over the (roughly)  two weeks leading up to the first Sunday of October (or German Unity Day, if close). As such, Oktoberfest ironically takes place mostly in September.

Oktoberfest originated as a festival originally held to honor the wedding of then-Prince Ludwig of Bavaria. His father the king arranged a massive public festival to celebrate the wedding, laying out a massive fairgrounds and inviting citizens from across Bavaria to attend. Everyone had such a good time, the citizens came together the next year to have another celebration, the first annual Oktoberfest. The celebration has been annually held virtually every year since 1810, barring 1854, the duration of the Franco-Prussian War, World War I and II, and from 1946-48 when it was replaced with the more generic Autumn Fest. The festival has generally seen massive and growing population, with over 6 million visitors annually since the 1990s. Today, Oktoberfest is a celebration of German heritage.

Like most popular festivals, Oktoberfest is also recognized internationally by expatriates and people of German descent. There's even such a celebration in our neck of the woods!

New Orleans Oktoberfest, opens a new window has been celebrated in the city since the 1970s, though it remained a small event until the New Orleans World Fair in 1984. Ever since the World's Fair brought beer gardens to the Big Easy, Oktoberfest has thrived in New Orleans, with few interruptions, mainly in 2005 and 2020. The modern event is organized largely by the Deutsches Haus, formed in 1928 out of a merging of several smaller German culture social groups going back as far as 1848. New Orleans Oktoberfest features food, beverages, and fun brought by various German families and businesses across the region. 

If you are interested in attending the festival, it is being held for three weekends in October: October 13th and 14th, 20th and 21st, 27th and 28th. Admission is $10, and the whole family is encouraged to attend!

In the meantime, check out these fun items from our collection! Happy reading:

The music of Oktoberfest


Teach Yourself German

Visions of Germany and Austria

Germans of Louisiana

German Demystified

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm