Oktoberfest is an age old tradition that was started in 1810 in Munich, Germany. The celebration then lasted just five days and celebrated the wedding of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The whole affair started Oct. 10 when the couple got married and ended on the 15th when they had a giant horse race. There has been a celebration almost every year since.

The festivities are fairly iconic: beautiful women with giant beer steins, lederhosen-clad men and, of course, the smiles everyone has while holding those massive beer mugs. That beer has gone through some changes over the years, and was originally a much darker beer than what is typically consumed now. Most beer in Germany these days is a light colored lager. 

There's one really confusing factor in Oktoberfest for most people: It starts in September. At 12 noon Saturday, Sept. 19, to be exact. What's up with that, you ask? Well, you're right to notice that Oktoberfest shares a lot of similarities with the word October and there doesn't seem to be a "September" in there anywhere, but the answer is pretty simple. The weather in Germany starts to get bad in October, and to combat that the celebration dates were moved ahead into September.

Now that we have that settled, get yourself ready for whatever Oktoberfest celebrations you may be hitting up. They happen all over the world, and they're a grand ole time. But, before you do, you may want to get yourself pumped up by continuing to scroll down, where you'll find some fun photos of Oktoberfests past. They look fun, because they are fun. And, it'll make you want to go celebrate Bavaria more than anything.

Happy Oktoberfest, everyone, and we'll see you next year. Enjoy the beer, the food and the laugh. But do it all responsibly (can you laugh irresponsibly in a beer hall?).

RTR4915B Oktoberfest waitresses celebrated the end of the world's biggest beer festival, the 181st Oktoberfest, in Munich, Oct. 5, 2014. Photo: Reuters

RTR48ZZG Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski and his wife, Anna Stachurska, attended the Oktoberfest 2014 beer festival at Kaefers Wiesenschaenke in Munich, Oct. 5, 2014. Photo: Reuters


RTR481O0 Beer and the massive steins they're held in are big draws for Oktoberfest. Photo: Reuters

RTR481NM Drinking beer and singing are two activities that go hand-in-hand at Oktoberfest. Photo: Reuters

RTR481NI More beer and smiles. There's a theme here, folks. Photo: Reuters

RTR481LO People in traditional Bavarian clothes played alphorns during the traditional concert at the 181st Oktoberfest in Munich, Sept. 28, 2014. Photo: Reuters

RTR473VL A woman dressed in traditional Bavarian clothes waved. Photo: Reuters


RTR473NH Street performances at Oktoberfest are a fairly common sight. Photo: Reuters


RTR470N1 Waitresses at Oktoberfest have mastered the art of carrying multiple mugs of beer at once. Photo: Reuters