Hey Germanic Studies Professor Peter J. Burgard: What exactly is Oktoberfest and why is it celebrated around the world?
The original Oktoberfest was a beer festival that was celebrated to drink the remaining Märzenbier or “March beer” supplies, because at the time, a brewing law existed that designated how long a beer could be stored before it went bad. In fact, this year is the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest. The reason Oktoberfest is so popular is because it is essentially an enormous beer-drinking party and is also said to be the largest festival in the world, with over six million participants traveling from around the world to Munich to celebrate. Many of these foreign participants bring the tradition back to their countries of origin. So I guess the basic answer to why it is so popular around the world is: who wouldn’t want to imitate the world’s biggest party?