Oktoberfest Celebrations, Customs, and Displayed Keepsakes

Oktoberfest takes place in Munich, Bavaria, Germany every year from mid-September to the beginning of October. The festival runs for 16 to 18 days and is celebrated annually by more than 6 million people visiting Germany’s fairgrounds or d’Wiesn until recent years due to the pandemic. However, nothing can dampen the spirit of Germans and fun-loving revelers of every nationality. Hence, the explosion of formal and makeshift biergartens or beer gardens – an outdoor space where beer and food is served and shared at communal tables (today with limited number of patrons per table) like those in Bavaria at Oktoberfest. Congregating safely in smaller groups or local settings celebrating traditions with costumes, music, German food and of course beverages like beer is the destination. The traditional costume for women is the dirndl (pronounced durn-duhl). This four-piece outfit is made up of a white blouse, a bodice, skirt, and an apron. The social status of a woman is shown by which side the apron is tied: left – single, right – taken. The dirndl’s counterpart for men is lederhosen, although women have been known to wear lederhose (the singular term) as well. Full lederhosen garb includes a shirt, oftentimes blue or red checkered, shoes or Haferlschuhe (usually brown or gray and resemble a goat’s foot), socks, and of course short or long animal-hide/skin (leather/suede) pants with ‘V’ or ‘Y’ shaped suspenders. The price for these traditional costumes range dramatically from inexpensive online versions to extravagant custom renditions like the wild silk and Swarovski crystal dirndl reportedly worth over 100,000 euros or approximately $115,000 U.S. These garments are seen as artwork and are commonly custom encased in durable acrylic display boxes or custom wall-mounted acrylic display cases to safeguard the integrity, tradition and memory the costume holds. Likewise, a trip to Germany during Oktoberfest or other festivals are often remembered by keepsakes or treasures purchased during the excursion. Those trinkets should be displayed as well. DIY displays include collapsible acrylic display boxes in a variety of sizes and in-stock professional-looking acrylic display cases with bases that complement every décor.


A Healthy Brew


Whether it’s having a beer in a bar, throwing a party, or sipping a traditional Oktoberfest brew from a red plastic cup, glass mug, or an authentic German beer stein you’ll have plenty of time to braise your brats, dip a Bavarian pretzel and raise your Stein Krug (stone mug) to good health this season. Savor the sip or two of your favorite German brews knowing that it’s actually good for you – in moderation of course. According to National Institute of Health (NIH), wine may not be the only alcoholic beverage to lower the rate of cardiovascular disease. In fact, the NIH points out that from a nutritional perspective, beer has more protein and B vitamins as well as a different category of antioxidant benefits due to the hops and barley used in the brewing process than its wine counterpart. The NIH is quick to point out however, that beer is different, not better, than wine in health benefits and that where all alcohol consumption is concerned, more is not better. Moderation is key and depends on the individual.


This is not the first-time health has come into play where beer is concerned. In fact, it was said that the creation of Bavarian beer steins with heavy pewter lids grew from the fear that the Black Plague was carried by flies and spread when the flies were attracted to, and landed in the beer mugs, tankards (made of stone) or Humpen. Once artisans began crafting ornate steins from glass, decorative adaptations emerged. Glass enabled craftsmen to use molds, which increased production, and allowed color, etchings, and more creative resources to be used. The unique vessels became collector’s items that is as popular hobby to this day.



Protect and Display Valuable Steins


If you’ve traveled to Bavaria for Oktoberfest and invested in an authentic stein or are an ardent collector, you know the value of the vessel – both sentimental and physical. However, if you stumble across steins at antique stores, estate or garage sales, thrift shops, etc. how do you know its value. Here, 5 tips to spotting an authentic German stein:

  1. Made in Germany. The imprint on the bottom of the stein states that it is made in Germany or Gemacht in Deutschland.
  2. Flip the Lid and Feel the Handle. Pewter is a lightweight metal that will darken on the outside, but once you open the lid it should be a lighter color. Knock-off steins may have a darker lid inside and out to make it appear vintage. Likewise, valuable steins have smooth handles. Mass-produced manufactured steins have bumps on the handle to ensure a firm grip. Although helpful in terms of preventing spillage, it is a giveaway in terms of value.
  3. Hand-painted. Authentic steins will be hand-painted, not mass produced with a hand-painted look. Check for slight imperfections.
  4. Every Stein Tells a Story. Well, not all, but many steins were used as a canvas to relate a story, whether biblical or historical – parables and battles, alike.
  5. Worth its Weight. Oftentimes, valuable steins are made of, well, valuable hefty materials like ivory, silver, glass, etc.

If your beer stein has value due to its vintage, authenticity, or the memory it evokes, a display is a necessity. You want the world to see your collection, hear all the stories connected to each piece, but you don’t necessarily need, or want anyone to touch the items. That’s what is great about acrylic display cases and acrylic display boxes. With all the same characteristics and clarity associated with glass, acrylic display cases and pedestals highlight a connoisseur’s collection, or an individual memento of Oktoberfest trip past with the bonus of safety. To start: choose a room that doesn’t fluctuate with extreme temperatures, which can damage the collectibles. Next, select a permanent acrylic display case, available in an array of wood and metal finishes, or an acrylic display case with adjustable shelves, portable acrylic pedestal, acrylic box with lid, or collapsible acrylic display case to protect your keepsakes from dust, debris, and damage – from pets or humans. Wall-mounted display cases show-off treasures away from foot traffic, while countertop acrylic displays provide a sight line for conversations – both personal and business, and mirrored cube risers to take it to new heights. Whatever the size or budget, shopPOPdisplays has in-stock or custom display options to your specification – sizes, engraving, etc. – to showcase your Oktoberfest steins in safety and style for years to come!


Countertop Acrylic Display Case Acrylic Cube Mirrored Riser Wall Mounted Acrylic Display Case