One of the biggest events in the German social calendar is Oktoberfest, particularly in the Bavarian capital of Munich. The party is one of the biggest in the world, with over six million people flooding into the city every year. While the festival in Munich is definitely worth a visit at least once, if you aren't able to make it all the way to Germany, there are plenty of other festival celebrations that you can enjoy around the world. Oktoberfest is all about celebrating good food and drink — if you enjoy your beer, then it is definitely the festival for you!
Boasting the second-largest Oktoberfest celebrations outside Germany and attracting around 600,000 people every year, Cincinnati, or "Zinzinnati" as it is known during the festival, sees some of the most interesting and amusing events anywhere. The "Running of the Wieners" is a race where tens of dachshunds are dressed in hot dog costumes to run across the square, while the beer stein race sees several local women racing to carry as many beers steins across the square as quickly as possible.
Held in the Hibiya Park near the center of Tokyo, this event sees thousands of people coming together to recreate some of the best German traditions, as well as to drink countless steins of German style beer. The marquee at the heart of the park is where many of the events take place, and you will also find plenty of stalls with pretzels and wurst to keep your spirits up, and an oompah band providing the musical entertainment.
This charming Brazilian town was founded by German immigrants in the nineteenth century, and the atmosphere in the old town center is still definitely German, with the distinctive architecture giving the area a vibe that is perfect for Oktoberfest. The event tends to celebrate the traditional German activities such as oompah music and German dancing, while there is also an Oktoberfest Queen selected who will represent the town for the year to come.
The Swedish city is home to a great celebration that has plenty of traditional German atmosphere, and the audience all embrace the German traditions, with almost everyone wearing lederhosen and traditional garb for the event. Music is provided by a German band who travel in for the event, and the celebratory atmosphere makes for a wonderful three-day party.
A former German colony, there is still a large community of Germans in the capital of Namibia, and the Oktoberfest celebrations are centered around the German sports club in the city. The highlight of the event is a beer-stein-carrying race where the winning barmaid is given the title of 'Queen of Beers'.
These twin cities host the largest annual celebration of Oktoberfest outside of Germany, drawing 700,000 visitors to an event that has celebrated the German heritage of the founders of these two cities for nearly fifty years. There is plenty of German beer to enjoy, and also a musical concert, known as 'Rocktober', and a canine parade known as 'Dogtober'.
Frankenmuth, Michigan, U.S.A.
This area of Michigan is known as "Little Bavaria", and has been hosting celebrations for over a quarter of a century, with plenty of traditional dancing, with the quality of the dancing distinctly better before everyone indulges in a few glasses of beer. There are plenty of quirky events to enjoy in this small town too, which is a great place to enjoy the festival.