European countries are proud of their traditions and their traditional festivals. One of Germany’s most sought after and rare performances is the Passion Play, performed only every ten years in the pictoresque Bavarian town of Oberammergau.
During the thirty years war, as if it wasn’t enough that all of Europe was at war between 1618 and 1648, the plague also ravaged literally every European country. In 1633 the Oberammergau villagers promised to perform the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ every tenth year, in so far as no one was to die of the plague anymore. The villagers were answered by God and therefore in 1634 the first Passion Play took place. The promise has been kept until today. The 42nd Passion Play successfully ran from 14 May to 2 October 2022, after having to be postponed in 2020 due to Covid.
The 43rd Oberammergau Passion Play will take place in 2030.
Another festival that sometimes resembles a performance, however, is the Oktoberfest in Munich. The Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival and funfair. Normally, it is held annually in Munich and consists of a 18-day folk festival running from mid-September to the first Sunday in October. More than six million people from around the world attend this event every year. In Munich, the locals call it “Wiesn”, after the colloquial name for the fairgrounds, Theresienwiese.
The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since the year 1810. In 2020 and 2021 it was cancelled in view of the covid pandemic.
The 188th Oktoberfest will take place from 16 September to 3 October 2023.