German beer flows for excited expatriates, locals
Expatriates and locals crowded the Jade Ballroom of the Windsor Plaza Hotel in HCMC on Wednesday to enjoy German food and beer for the world’s biggest beer festival, Oktoberfest.
Many German expatriates came to experience a taste of home at the biggest Oktoberfest in Vietnam, which was presented by the five-star hotel in cooperation with the German Business Association.
The festival continues every evening at the hotel in District 5 until this Sunday. Guests eat and drink as much as they can, dance to traditional Oktoberfest songs, and compete in German games.
During the five-day celebration, chefs at the hotel will create thousands of sausages, cook tons of pork knuckles, and make hundreds of kilos of sauerkraut and boiled potatoes for partygoers.
The hotel has imported hundreds of barrels of draft Krombacher beer and thousands of bottles of Schneider Weisse beer for guests to toast prost (cheers in German) or mot, hai, ba dzo! (one, two, three, bottoms up! in Vietnamese).
Besides food and drink, the Windsor Plaza Hotel has brought back the same Notenhoblers band that performed at the festival last year.
This year, Die Schwarzwalder Lausbuewe band from Germany’s Black Forest will join the band to rock partygoers. Like last year, people can dance with partners and in groups on the floor or on benches and tables.
After drinking mugs of beer and dancing, guests can put their name down to compete in such Oktoberfest games as wood sawing and finger knuckle.
In the sawing competition, couples have to cut a slice off a fresh wood log in the shortest time to be the winners. Competitors of the second game try to draw their opponent’s shoulder over a mark on the table.
The hotel has transformed the Jade Ballroom into a real venue for Oktoberfest. There is also a souvenir counter, where smiling girls wait to sell mugs, T-shirts and hats designed specially for Oktoberfest.
Historical documents date the original Oktoberfest to October 1810 on the public celebration of the wedding of Crown Prince Luitpold I and Princess Theressa of Bavaria. The party on a large meadow in Munich featured a horse race, beer, food, music and dancing.
Anniversary celebrations then started to take place each year, usually beginning in late September and ending the first week of October. Munich has become the German center for the festival.
Oktoberfest is the largest festival in the world and hosts up to seven million visitors, who gather under dozens of circus-sized tents to drink beer from one-liter steins while singing and dancing to traditional and modern Bavarian music.
The annual celebration has gone beyond Germany. In Vietnam, the festival is organized not only at the Windsor Plaza Hotel, but also elsewhere for the German community and others to enjoy.
Lion Restaurant in downtown HCMC is preparing for Oktoberfest on the evening of October 14 only. The restaurant will feature more than 20 traditional dishes of Germany, black and yellow draught beer, and entertainment.
Tickets for the Lion Oktoberfest cost from VND299,000 (around US$19) per adult and VND99,000 per kid. At the Windsor Plaza Hotel, the tickets cost US$32 for adults and US$16 for children who are allowed on Sunday, October 8 only.
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