Do you enjoy giant pretzels, schnitzel and beer? How about dirndls, lederhosen, and carnival rides? Each year, Munich celebrates Oktoberfest and brings together millions of people to embrace some German culture and eat as many pretzels, bratwurst and cheesy bread as their stomachs can hold.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of taking a part in this festival, where I continuously felt as though I was caught in Halloween town. Historically, Oktoberfest originated from the wedding celebration of Ludwig in 1810; however, today it has also become a major tourist attraction. Hotels become booked months in advance as over six million people attend the festival over the 16-day period. Harriman outlines some interesting facts pertaining to the dynamic of the tents, the comparison of prices, and the immense time taken to set up Oktoberfest.
With the number of travelers coming to Munich during this period, it is no doubt that social media platforms boom with pictures and videos of the event. From my experience, every where I looked I saw smartphones capturing pictures, recording the scene, and sharing with friends. Inside the tent held an older crowd ranging from 20 year olds reuniting with other friends abroad and an older generation sitting down at tables and enjoying some beer. Meanwhile, outside was a maze of young children and families bustling about to experience the rides and games of the festival.
The difference between a tourist’s use of social media and a local’s use would most likely be linked to their experience at Oktoberfest. When I asked a teenage girl from Munich if she uploaded pictures to Facebook and Instagram, she told me that she would take a few pictures with her friends dressed in their dirndls at the carnival to document the celebration. Tourists (a.k.a all my friends) would be more likely to take tons of pictures to send to their families and friends to show their experience abroad at a festival so exciting and foreign. If I were to guess, from my experience, the younger generation would use social media more than an older generation due to the young atmosphere that the festival embraces. With the range of ages and the mix of tourists and locals, it is no doubt that social media attributes to Oktoberfest’s attraction.
How many pictures have you seen online over the past two weeks? Too many to count would be my guess :).
Featured image courtesy of Flickr user Alex