Traditional Costumes Take Center Stage at Oktoberfest

October 5, 2018 Updated: October 15, 2018

Hundreds of proud Bavarians wore their finest traditional clothes on Sept 23 for the annual Oktoberfest costume parade in Munich.

Always held on the second day of the world’s largest beer festival, the parade is a chance for the locals to show off their best Bavarian costumes, or what’s known in German as tracht.

As is the custom, men wore lederhosen, or leather trousers, which are either short- or knee-length, often with a checkered shirt, high woolly socks and a hat with a feather, sometimes known as a Tyrolean or Alpine hat, from where it originated.

Women wear dirndl corseted dresses, characterized by their bright colors and fine detailing, as well as a lace-up front and apron. Traditionally if the apron bow is tied to the left, it means a lady is single, but on the right means she’s taken.

Oktoberfest has its origins in a horse race that took place in 1810 to celebrate the wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen.

The public festivities on the Theresienwiese open ground—named after the bride—became more elaborate as time went on and gradually turned into a folk festival.

The 185th edition of Oktoberfest ends on Oct. 7.