Sausages, beer and polka bands – Munich’s traditional Oktoberfest celebration is in full swing. But this holiday is celebrated across the world! Today, we’ll show you six international “Oktoberfest” copies that are well worth a visit.
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, USA
No, it’s not a spelling mistake, but a take on German pronunciation. Over a weekend in September, the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the USA takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio. The undisputed highlight is the yearly kickoff event, the “Running of the Wieners.” In this event, hundreds of dachshunds – dressed as hotdogs – run a race.
Qingdao International Beer Festival, China
Without a doubt, the weirdest copy of Munich’s original can be found in China, more specifically in the port city of Qingdao. Every August, millions of visitors stream through the beer tents there. Instead of classic German hits, you’ll hear Chinese pop music blaring from the loudspeakers. Dirndl’s and lederhosen are a rare sight, and you also won’t find the original Weißwurst sausage – the most you’ll find is an undefinable copy – instead, the offerings of Asian delicacies like muscles, meat dishes and noodles are well worth a try. In any case, there’s plenty of beer to go around. Just like the name implies, you’ll find varieties from around the world, from Heineken to Paulaner to the Chinese brand Tsingtao: the selection is just about endless.
Vegan Oktoberfest, USA
A different take on Oktoberfest! A vegan variation on the traditional festival has been celebrated in Los Angeles for the last few years. But you won’t have to limit your enjoyment here: hot dogs, pies and brownies – all vegan, of course. In addition, you’ll find a selection of domestic and international beers. The vegan “Wiesn” is a definite highlight for vegans and non-vegans alike.
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, Canada
Every year in October in the twin city of Kitchener-Waterloo, the unofficial German capital of Canada, the city is turned on its head for nine days. And for a good reason: countless German families reside in Kitchener, which up until the beginning of the 20th century was even called “Berlin.” And of course, these families maintain the traditions of their German heritage. Beer tents, sausages and traditional German garb – there’s probably nowhere else in the world that celebrates Oktoberfest more like Munich.
Oktoberfest Blumenau, Brazil
Idyllic small-town Bavaria? Hardly! Contrary to what the name might imply, this Oktoberfest celebration doesn’t take place in a small German village, but rather in the major Brazilian city of Blumenau. With 700,000 visitors each year, Oktoberfest Blumenau is the second largest public festival in Brazil after Rio’s Carnival.
Hibiya Oktoberfest, Japan
Bavarian flair in the heart of Tokyo: for ten days, the Oktoberfest spirit rules in Hibiya Park. Bavarian specialties, international beers and a German folk music choir – this Japanese variation is a convincing take on the traditional Munich Oktoberfest.
Header Photo: iStock/Carso80