Oktoberfest – or “the Wiesn”, as Germans from Bavaria call it – is THE cultural export hit from Germany and is known worldwide. It’s due to Oktoberfest that we all have a stereotype German living rent-free in our heads, wearing lederhosen with the socks pulled right up and gulping down a liter of beer. But the fact that Germany’s most famous folk festival now has an estimated 4,000 sister events around the world is without a doubt impressive – and there are more every year (2020 excluded!) The hype surrounding the beloved German ‘October Festival‘ is not slowing down. And no wonder – the original Oktoberfest celebrations on the Theresienwiese is a box office hit, with annual sales of over one billion euros. No wonder the rest of the world wants a piece of the pie!
Whether it’s in Tokyo, Namibia or Moscow, Oktoberfest isn’t just in Munich anymore, but also abroad. In this post, you’ll find out where Oktoberfest is still celebrated around the world.
Ever wondered what the world’s most exciting festivals are – check them out here!
Top 8 Oktoberfest celebrations across the world
#1 Oktoberfest in Blumenau, Brazil
Hang on a minute… Doesn’t Blumenau sound pretty German? In 1850, the coastal town of Blumenau was indeed founded by German immigrants who brought the Bavarian festival with them to Brazil. The Oktoberfest, which attracts around 700,000 visitors, lasts around two weeks. This makes the Brazilian version of the Oktoberfest the second-largest festival in the whole of Brazil … after the Rio Carnival. Hats off to that!
#2 Oktoberfest celebrations in Cincinnati, The USA
An American version of Oktoberfest takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio every year. Around 80,5000 sausages, 23,000 pretzels, tons of potato salad and sauerkraut are served every year. The “duck dance” and the “dachshund race”, which are the highlight of the American imitation, are especially funny. Here’s what you need to know: During the dachshund race, you have to be the first to reach the finish line… disguised as a hot dog. Ready for a hot dog race?
#3 The Wiesn in Waterloo, Canada
During this Oktoberfest lookalike in Canada, Canadians orientate themselves very much on the original. It is celebrated for one week in 18 festival halls with beer, bratwurst and sauerkraut.
#4 One day Oktoberfest celebrations in Jundah, Australien
Compared to the Munich Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest in Australia only lasts … uh … one day? Not ideal. But it is cool that the street names get changed for this event.
#5 Oktoberfest in Qingdao, China
China is super far away. It’s 7,747 km from Munich to Beijing to be exact – that’s 12 hours by flight. Nevertheless, the Bavarian folk festival has blossomed into East Asia, because there is also an Oktoberfest clone in China. The Chinese Oktoberfest in Qingdao lasts three weeks. In fact, this city of nine million people used to be part of a German colony. That’s where the Bavarian tradition started. But if you are hoping for the typical Wiesn songs to be played here, you’ll be disappointed. Chinese people celebrate Oktoberfest with karaoke and other stage performances.
#6 Oktoberfest in Windhoek, Namibia
Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, attracts thousands of guests every year, because the German festival also goes ahead in Africa! Performances by the Munich ‘Schuhplattler’ create an authentic feeling shared by the Oktoberfest in Munich. German Namibians founded the Oktoberfest in Namibia in 1960 and have been celebrating with beer and traditional brass music in memory of German culture ever since. Aside from enjoying beer, traditional games such as ‘Hau den Lukas’ or ‘Competitive saws’ are also held.
#7 Oktoberfest celebrations in Tokyo, Japan
Oktoberfest has also been taking place in Japan since 1996 and was introduced by a German company. However, the celebration only takes place for three days and is primarily aimed at companies.
#8 Oktober Event in Moskau, Russland
Oktoberfest goes Russia! The festival, which honors Bavarian culture, is celebrated in Russia’s capital, Moscow, and lasts for three weeks. But anyone who imagines tents is completely wrong. The Russians celebrate in bars and restaurants.
Have you been to an Oktoberfest celebration before?
Make sure to let us know your experiences in the comments below! And before you go… check out these articles: