Oktoberfest Terminology and Customs Photo: CC0 Public Domain

Oktoberfest Terminology and Customs

By  Sunday, 3.7.2016, 14:15    Oktoberfest

We continue our Oktoberfest series with a choice of terms used by locals in Munich and Bavaria during the Oktoberfest. In 2016, the Oktoberfest is set to take place from Saturday, September 17th until Monday October 3rd.

Wiesn – “Wiesn” (meadow) is a term locals use for the location at which the Oktoberfest takes place (Theresienwiese, named after Princess Theresa of Hildburghausen), as well as for the Oktoberfest itself.

Oide Wiesn – “Oide Wiesn” (Old Wiesn, Old Oktoberfest) is a term used for a part of the Okteberfest grounds where the tradition of the festival is shown in retro style. While you can get to the regular Oktoberfest grounds for free, there is a €3 charge to enter the “Oide Wiesn” grounds. In the south section of Theresienwiese, there was a separate area in which visitors could enjoy a cosy and traditional atmosphere in a historical beer tent and a music tent with a traditional character and a dance floor, live Bavarian music and culinary delicacies.

Prosit/Prost/Zum Wohl - at the Oktoberfest is polite have a toast before drinking. Your neighbour at the table will often say "Prost" or "Prosit" ( meaning "cheers") or "Zum Wohl" (meaning "to your wellbeing") while clinking beer glasses with everyone in reach.

Dirndl – The dirndl descends from the old rural and practical women’s costume and is always comprised of top section and a long dress with an apron. Its name comes from the word “dirn” (south German for “girl”) as the female waitresses were called in the 19th century, back then it was only uniform work clothing until the dirndl later came into fashion with the middle class. The dirndl is classic, sexy, feminine and fashionable. At your visit to the Oktoberfest, or if you are planning to wear one yourself, pay attention of where the bow of the dirndl apron is tied. A bow tied at the right side means married, left means single, middle means virgin and a bow tied at the back means either widow or waitress.

Lederhosen – Lederhosen (leather shorts) are a must for men at the Oktoberfest. Lederhosen were originally work clothes worn by farmers until they were prevented from slowly dying out with the founding of the first Bavarian Costume Association in 1883.

O ‘zapft is! – Every year the Oktoberfest opens at noon on the first Saturday following September 15th by the Mayor of Munich announcing “O ‘zapft is!” !" ("the keg is tapped") after tapping the first keg of Spaten beer at the Schottenhamel tent at the Wiesn. The other tents are informed by gun shots that they are now allowed to begin selling the brew at their locations.

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Vilijam Zufic

Translator (German, Croatian, English), guide and unacknowledged blogging genius. Born and lives in Pula, Istria, Croatia. Educated in Germany, Croatia and the United States, economics graduate. Currently beginning to prepare to train for pulling himself up by his bootstraps. Married with children. Father of Croatia’s greatest football talent. Knows all there is to know about Istria, camping and bratwurst. At the verge of something big with the only German language blog on Istria Inistrien.de. No sense of humour. Here to meet like-minded people.

Website: www.inistrien.de/ Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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