Oktoberfest has become synonymous with drinking, eating and all-round good times in the UK in recent years, and as you probably know the roots of this cultural phenomenon lie in Germany. What you may not know, however, is the sheer scale of modern-day Oktoberfest celebrations.
The original, and still the largest, event takes place every year in Munich. It attracts somewhere around six million visitors from all over Germany and across the world. In 2013, more than 7.5 million litres of beer were consumed over the 16-day period, not to mention a huge range of traditional German food items, including:
- Hendl (roast chicken)
- Brezen (pretzels)
- Schweinsaxe (ham hock)
- Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes)
- Steckerlfisch (grilled fish served on sticks)
The start and finish dates of Oktoberfest in Munich will change slightly from year to year, but since German reunification it has been timed to include German Unity Day, which is celebrated on October 3rd. As well as food and drink, the event also includes fun fair rides, stalls, games and a variety of street entertainers.
A little slice of Germany in rural Sussex
While there’s nothing quite like being in Munich during this spectacular occasion, the next best thing is to experience one of the many British Oktoberfest events instead. On Sunday 5th October, the Shepherd & Dog are hosting a day that celebrates German culture mixed in with a traditional Sussex welcome. A day that features mouth-watering food and superb beers in a glorious rural pub deserves to be on every wish-list.
The first Oktoberfest events as we know them today were held in the early 19th century to celebrate the wedding of Kronprinz Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildurghausen in 1810. The original festivities were centred on horse races which attracted thousands of people from across southern Germany.
There are a number of important links between Sussex and Germany. The Brighton Pavilion was built at the behest of King George IV, a prominent monarch from the House of Hanover. Many Sussex towns, including Hastings, Lewes, Uckfield, Crawley and Hassocks, are twinned with German locations.
If you’re keen to find out why German food and drink has become so popular at this time of year, be sure to visit the Shepherd & Dog for Oktoberfest. There is something wonderful about superb food and iconic craft beers when they’re enjoyed in a beautiful rural setting. This promises to be an occasion not to be missed.
The Shepherd & Dog’s Oktoberfest celebrations are to be held on Sunday October 5th.