Break Out The Lederhosen – It’s Oktoberfest!

Oct '13 NC web banner-3aBy Marianne Reid Anderson

Fire up the oom-pah-pah band, make a batch of bratwurst and sauerkraut, and join Bavarians the world over as they celebrate the last golden days of autumn before an Alpine winter begins!

Oktoberfest originally began in 1810 in Bavaria, Germany to celebrate the wedding of King Ludwig I (then the crown prince) to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Everyone had such a wonderful time that it became an annual tradition and now has people celebrating the world over.

Oktoberfest celebrations are about music, food and fun. Traditionally, the music is provided by an oom-pah-pah band that is comprised of a tuba, an accordion and a snare drum, although clarinets and trumpets have been known to join in, as well. To the sounds of the oom-pah-pah music, be ready to dance the night away to polkas, waltzes, the now famous “chicken-dance”, and maybe even an old shoe-slapping traditional folk dance known as the Schuhplattler.

Also, you can enjoy a hearty meal of traditional fare. Celebrations may include such specialties as: sauerbraten which is a braised beef dish in a tangy sauce; Bavarian sausages known as wursts such as knockwurst, bratwurst and weisswurst which is a white sausage made from veal and pork; schnitzel which is a breaded and fried cutlet of pork, veal or chicken; and lots of great side dishes such as sauerkraut, red cabbage, potato pancakes and spatzle which is a buttery potato noodle. Be sure not to forget the large soft pretzels or the homemade gingerbread and apple strudel!

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