“O’zapft is!” It is that time of year!
What am I talking about? Oktoberfest! And “O’zapft is!” is traditional opener to the festivities. This is from the Bavarian dialect and means that the first keg of the season has been tapped.
You have probably heard about the traditional German Oktoberfest at least once, right? Then you might know that Munich is especially famous for this celebration. While the Bavarian festivities remain the largest, other events are cropping up throughout Germany. And as the jovial mood spreads, I think it only fitting that I share my experience from the inaugural Dusseldorf celebration held just last year.
I’ve been a huge fan of the Oktoberfest for many years and when I heard that the tradition had arrived in my beautiful hometown, I could not believe it. So what did I do? Of course I put on my best Dirndl and jumped into the festivities to see if the Rhenish people could keep up with the Bavarians. And let me tell you: It was definitely a success! I particularly liked the location that was chosen for the Oktoberfest in Dusseldorf. It takes place at the Rhine Promenade, where I also like to spend most of my spare time.
I started my day with a delicious pretzel, Bavarian veal sausage with sweet mustard and, most importantly, a freshly tapped Mass. A Mass is a huge glass jug, which contains one liter of beer. It is common to drink these throughout the Oktoberfest celebrations, beginning with breakfast and continuing throughout the day. There is even a traditional song that encourages drinkers to clink their Mass with those around them. It seems the song is played just about every five minutes, so it is important to have a Mass in hand!
Another fun aspect is seeing everyone dressed in traditional clothes. The men wear leather trousers known as Lederhosen, a plaid shirt and sometimes also those cute hats with feathers on top. The women wear my personal favorite, the Dirndl. The Dirndl consists of a blouse, with a dress consisting of a corset top and full skirt topped with an apron. You can find it in every color and pattern. The Dirndl is a figure hugging dress that seems to make every woman look her best! The women top of the look with braids in every style.
But the Dirndl does more than set the tone of the event- it can also communicate the relationship status of the wearer. If you wear the apron knot on the left side, it means you are single, on the right it means you are in a relationship. Knots on the back suggest you are widowed (unless you are working as a waitress!) and in the front the knot means you are married. Who would have guessed an apron could say so much?!
You are now perfectly prepped for a visit to Dusseldorf’s Oktoberfest. This year celebrations started on September 19th and goes for about two weeks. So be sure to make your plans today! Your Breidenbacher Hof Personal Assistant will help you make it the perfect vacation.