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The Wiesn – Instructions Eat, drink, behave, love

If this is your first time at the Oktoberfest in Munich, you will encounter a range of bizarre things. We are going to guide you with our “Wiesn - Instructions”. In the following parts, we explain some typical words, traditions, customs or expression of the Oktoberfest, the bigges folk festival of the World. The category are not Eat, pray, love but quit similar. Be prepared for the Oktoberfest 2017 – Eat, behave, love!



A Breze is a yeast bread pretzel, in the town bakeries you can only buy the small hand sized variety but in the beer gardens and at the Oktoberfest you can buy a huge Riesenbreze (giant pretzel) together with a Maß of beer and a side dish of roast chicken this is the Bavarian's preferred beer-festival fare.


Beer is only available in one-liter glass, called a Maß. For the Oktoberfest the local breweries create a special beer which has a higher percentage of alcohol.


Hendl is grilled chicken, which is on offer over most of the Oktoberfest. It tastes spectacular in combination with beer and Breze.


Steckerlfisch is a grilled mackerel fish on a stick (Bavarian for stick is Steckerl). It is served in beer gardens and at folk festivals. Traditionally the fishes were caught in the local rivers and lakes.



Maß / Maßkrug (=Litre-Stein)

In Bavaria you drink beer out of a Maßkrug, which holds one litre of beer. You drink directly from the big glass (No smaller glasses will be provided) When you want to order a beer, you simply say to the waitress "A Maß, bittschön"


Noagerl is a Bavarian expression and means the left over remains or beer dregs. This word explains to the waitress that the beer has been left standing too long, is warm or flat and no longer drinkable, so she will take it away.


Prost! Is a toast used by Bavarians. When the band play a fanfare that is called"Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit" you chink your glasses while looking the person in the eyes and say Prost! There is another Bavarian version that goes, "Oans, zwoa, g'suffa!" (One, two, sozzled)
Warning: Prost has nothing to do with Brust (breast) even if it sounds similar!



Anbandeln (= to flirt with)

After drinking a Maß beer the Oktoberfest visitors inhibitions decrease and they start to flirt. If you are successful, you might like to give a "Lebkuchenherzl/ “Herzl" (A heart shaped gingerbread)


Dirndl is the traditional dress for women, the word Dirndl comes from old Bavarian and means girl or maiden.

Lederhosen (= leather trousers)

Lederhosen are an essential part of the men's traditional dress, these are available in different lengths, but knee length being the most commonly seen. They are usually combined with a white shirt, knee length socks and special shoes (called Haferlschuhe / brogues).

Trachtenumzug (= traditional costume procession)

On the first Sunday of the Oktoberfest you will find the traditional costume procession parading through the inner city, taking part are bands, costume societies and folk clubs.


Wiesn is the Bavarian name for the Oktoberfest and comes from Theresienwiese the name of the place where annually the beer festival takes place. Wiese means meadow.
Wegen Überfüllung geschlossen (= closed due to over crowding)
This sign stands outside a tent when there are no places for new guests, unfortunately neither polite words nor flattery will persuade the massive door men to let you in.


Bieseln is Bavarian for urination and you should only go in the designated attended toilet areas, if you do your business somewhere else then this is a Wildbieseln and if caught peeing wild, you will be fined.

Zelt (= tent)

At the Oktoberfest, there are 14 big tents and some smaller ones. The basic rule can be summed up like this: The bigger the tent, the merrier the crowd. The largest tents offer up to 9000 places. The last call for beer in the evening is at 10.30 pm and the tents finally close at 11.00 pm.


Busserl (= kiss)

To give or get a “Busserl” is an international sign to demonstrate your love. But please ask the person, if he or she like one.

Lebkuchenherz (“Herzl”)

From many stalls at the Oktoberfest you can buy gingerbread hearts hand decorated with multi coloured sugar icing script. They are given as a sign of affection. (Tip: Don't eat it, it is a keepsake!) While " Spatzerl" and "Schatzerl" = (little sparrow and little treasure) are relatively innocent. "I mog di" (= I Like you) or "Ich liebe dich" (= I love you) is clearly a bit stronger. For the folks back home you can buy a souvenir heart with the writing "Grüße aus München " = Greetings from Munich.


The ribbon of a Dirndl is more than a decoration. It is one part of the traditional Customs of the Oktoberfest. It tells a lot about the marital status of the girl or woman wearing the Dirndl. Check the ribbon before you will start your first advances.
Is the ribbon tied at the left side, the woman is single and maybe opened for a flirt.
But what does it mean, if the woman wears the ribbon on the right side? -
You should be careful. Her boyfriend, fiancé or husband might be just around the corner.

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