In a blink of an eye, it’s October. When the 10th month of the year is spelt with a ‘k’, you know it’s time to revel in all kinds of mouthwatering German sausages and tasty beers.
Once Upon A Time
The history and tradition of Oktoberfest dates back to 1810, when it was a celebration to mark the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig, to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese, on the 12th of October. Back then, the citizens of Munich were invited to join in the royal wedding festivities, which were held over five days on the fields in front of the city gates.
Over the centuries, Oktoberfest morphed into a festival of feasting, mainly on scrumptious German food and heady, thirst-quenching meads and malts. It also eventually got moved ahead into the month of September, because of better weather conditions during that part of the year.
Today, Oktoberfest is only the world’s largest annual beer festival that’s held in Munich, Germany. This enormous 16-day party that starts in mid-September and ends on the first Sunday in October, attracts over 6 million people every year, who consume 1.5 million gallons of beer, 200,000 pairs of pork sausage, and 480,000 spit-roasted chickens during the two-week fiesta. Oktoberfest brings in over 450 million Euros each year, and is understandably one of Munich’s most profitable tourist attractions
Proof of how Oktoberfest has grown, and not just within Munich, but internationally, is the fact that it is celebrated in nearly every country in the world today. The largest Oktoberfest held outside of Germany takes place annually in the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo in Canada, where a large German population lives. Another huge event inspired by Munich’s Oktoberfest is Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati in Ohio, which brings in half a million visitors each year.
In Singapore, many small-scale versions of Oktoberfest have been happening at least over the last 20 to 30 years, if not longer. They’re also usually held within the month of October, not September. To be honest, if you want something mild and under-the-radar, there are no lack of pubs, restaurants and hotels in Singapore that would have some semblance of Oktoberfest weaved into their menus and entertainment line-up this time of year.
At His Style Diary, we believe that anything that’s worth doing, is worth doing well, that is in a big, elaborate way, as well as passionately and with real heart. So… we are recommending only two top ways to herald Oktoberfest – by going riesige at Oktoberfest Asia 2018, or going home and literally celebrating there.
Oktoberfest Asia 2018 happens from 18 to 21 October, 6pm to 12pm, and will be held in a fully air-conditioned festival-style marquee at the open field next to Tan Quee Lan Street. This year’s set-up is the biggest the event has ever been, and five types of admission tickets (and corresponding event packages) are available: regular without food platter, regular with food platter, Main Event VIP, Oktoberfest Asia Buffet and Family Day. Different categories of tickets include different entitlements. Log on to www.oktoberfestasia.com for full details and to purchase your tickets. You can also contact email@example.com for more information on tickets for corporate groups and/or private nights, and bulk ticket buys of 8 or more. Expect lots of eating, drinking, dancing, and people-watching.
Hate crowds but love beer and sausages? Celebrate Oktoberfest in the comfort of your own home, where you can dictate just the sorts of sausages you want, as well as the types of beers you’d like to serve and guzzle. And, of course, invite whomever you want.
If you have garden space, an outdoor grill would be perfect. If you live in an apartment and have limited balcony space, a smokeless indoor grill will also work just fine. Some catering will also need to be done.
Huber’s Butchery at Dempsey (www.hubers.com.sg) and Rudi’s Fine Food (www.rudisfinefood.com) have a selection of good quality sausages and meats that you can order online and get delivered. Rudi’s also sells pre-cooked pork knuckles and hams, and you can get a range of cold cuts, mustards, pickles, bottled saukraut and condiments at Huber’s Butchery to go with the sausages and meats. For variety, include roasted whole chickens, pork ribs, potato salad and pretzels in your home menu too. For dessert, definitely good old Black Forest cake, which is so easy to get in Singapore.
To help your guests wash it all down, serve craft, artisanal and special German brews in bottles or kegs. Check out www.germanmarketplace.sg, www.tuckshop.sg, www.applehops.com for German and artisanal/craft beer options. To make your homemade Oktoberfest party even more enticing, include a prize of a 5L keg of Paulaner’s finest brew each, for the best dressed guest in dirndl (for the women) and lederhosen (for the men). So much fun, but remember, whatever you do, don’t drink and drive.