man in bavarian traditional lederhosen

A Guide to Oktoberfest: Essential Tips for First-Timers

Oktoberfest is the world's largest Volksfest, which is a traditional German beer festival and thrilling cultural event. Don’t worry if you’ve never celebrated Oktoberfest before, we’ve got you covered! If you’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to wear your festival meggings, the time has finally come. Our guide for Oktoberfest first-timers will help you figure out what to wear, what to drink, and the proper way to participate in the fun.

What is a Volksfest?

Volksfest translates to "people's festival" in German. Usually this event is the combination of a beer festival and a travelling carnival. When you attend a Volksfest like Oktoberfest, you can expect to enjoy a wide range of activities, games, rides, foods, drinks, music, and more. Another common feature is the beer tents and beer gardens. Sponsored by local breweries, these tents and gardens provide a nice area to sit, socialize, and drink beer. The annual Oktoberfest celebration hosted in Munich is the biggest Volksfest in the world.

History of Oktoberfest

The origins of Oktoberfest can be traced back to the citizens of Munich being invited to celebrate the Crown Princess in front of the city gates in 1810. Guests enjoyed horse racing, spectacles, and socialization. By the 19th century, the festival boasted attractions such as bowling, swings, carnival booths, and more. Over the years, the event has continued to evolve and expand the range of activities offered on the festival grounds.

Today, Oktoberfest is mostly known as an event for drinking beer and listening to traditional music. This festival is so legendary that many people around the world have it as an item on their bucket list. If you’re a party animal, there’s no better destination than the beer tents of Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest in Munich

There are Oktoberfest celebrations held all over the world, but the real 16- to 18-day event takes place annually in Munich, Germany from late September to early October. Unfortunately, the upcoming 2021 Oktoberfest in Munich has been cancelled as a result of the pandemic, but the party is still on in other cities around the world.

How are they going to celebrate Oktoberfest in your neck of the woods? There are still many ways to safely participate in Oktoberfest this year without traveling to Munich. You can join a local event in your city, host your own party, or simply celebrate with a couple of friends. The key to enjoying this event is to carry the spirit of the Volksfest in your heart.

What to Wear

When you think of classic Bavarian wardrobes, dirndls and lederhosen may come to mind. A dirndl is a traditional outfit for women consisting of a bodice, apron, and high-waisted skirt worn over a blouse. Lederhosen, typically worn by men, are leather shorts often paired with suspenders. To complete the costume, add a trachten hat as well. Wearing this classic wardrobe will help you blend right in with the locals at the city center.

Two smiling bavarian men standing in leather pants

Dressing in traditional Bavarian clothing is only one option for the festival. You’ll find that many people celebrate this event in leisurewear or other casual clothes. Since there can be a lot of movement, activity, and walking, it’s important to stay comfortable. Stylish athleisure wear, like meggings or compression shorts, are trending for festivals. To complete your look, pair your bottoms with a complementary or matching face mask. This outfit is perfect if you plan on celebrating in a crowd.

What to Drink

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Oktoberfest? Beer! Drinking beer and hanging out inside beer tents is an honored tradition and beloved pastime. To get the authentic experience, try a Hacker-Pschorr beer made at the Hacker-Pschorr brewery in Munich. Other popular breweries that make Oktoberfest beers include Augustiner-Bräu, Löwenbräu, and Staatliches Hofbräu-München to name a few.

If you’re not a fan of beer, don’t worry, there are plenty of other beverage options available at most celebrations. Wine is another traditional drink served at Oktoberfest. Furthermore, if you aren’t interested in alcoholic beverages at all, there’s always the option to enjoy coffee, tea, juice, soda, or water. Attending this wild event will definitely make you thirsty!

What to Eat

Eating traditional Bavarian foods is an important part of celebrating Oktoberfest. Some of the most popular foods to try at this event include German soft pretzels called brezen, Bavarian sausages called würstl, dumplings called knödel, and cheese noodles called käsespätzle. Be sure to also check out some classic desserts, like apple strudel or black forest cookies.

Side view of man eating german sausage

Traditional Oktoberfest Activities

As you probably already know, the main event at Oktoberfest is beer drinking. Millions of people gather together to tap beer barrels, try different breweries, and party inside of traditional beer tents. By the end of the day, everyone is drunk, happy, and filled with joy.

Another classic Oktoberfest activity is listening to folk music from a traditional brass band. Have you ever danced to the popular German drinking song “Ein Prosit”? Join in on the fun and get your groove on! Folk dancing is just one part of the cultural program.

Aside from drinking and dancing, other highlights of Oktoberfest include eating German foods, watching costumed parades, and learning about the history of the festival grounds. Even if you don’t have a reservation to any event and plan on celebrating at home, there are lots of ways you can commemorate the occasion. Invite some of your friends over to eat, drink, and dance the night away.

How to Get the Full Oktoberfest Experience

It’s possible to get a complete, authentic Oktoberfest experience without traveling to Munich, Germany. This year, since the festival is cancelled, partygoers will have to improvise and create their own version of a good time. How is it possible to celebrate this iconic event without crowded tents of enthusiastic drinkers? If you’re willing to break tradition a little, you’ll find that there are lots of ways to still get the full experience.

Whether you’re hosting a party or joining a local celebration, there are a few things that you will need:

  • Your favorite beer
  • German food, like pretzels, sausages, or dumplings
  • Comfortable, stylish outfit
  • Speakers or headphones to play traditional music
  • Camera to capture memories
  • A positive attitude and lots of energy!

Are You Ready to Attend Oktoberfest?

Even though the official Oktoberfest 2021 is cancelled, there are lots of ways to celebrate this year. More importantly, this year can be used as a practice run so that you feel fully prepared to visit the real Oktoberfest in Munich as a first-timer next year in 2022. By that time, you’ll be familiar with German beer, Bavarian music, and the long list of fun activities you can expect. You’ll also have the perfect outfit picked out and ready.

Matador Meggings has a wide selection of eye-catching festival wear perfect for Oktoberfest. These meggings are flattering, fashionable, comfortable, and fun! Plus, they have a whole lot more sex appeal than traditional lederhosen. With functional pockets and sweat-wicking technology, you’ll wonder how you ever used to attend events without a pair. Browse our online catalogue today and get ready to celebrate Oktoberfest like a bull!