Oktoberfest - ein Fest der Landeshauptstadt München
Photo: Sebastian Liebrandt

Bavarian tradition: The German national holiday on Oktoberfest

A Oktoberfest premiere in the Armbrustschützenzelt

Schuhplattler, Goasslschnalzer, crossbow shooter and Schafkopf: tradition is more than a word in the Armbrustschützenzelt. In the second Wiesn week the Inselkammer family offers a colorful programme to watch and take part in.

It started already on Wednesday afternoon: 15 Schuhplattler of the Bavarian Trachtenverband performed - directly on the tables. Thus the guests experienced this Bavarian tradition very closely. Every hour in the afternoon there were several interludes.

And there was also something going on at the shooting range next door. There the Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association had invited to crossbow shooting. About 100 association representatives and politicians tested their marksmanship.

What a beautiful noise! Schuhplattler and Goasslschnalzer

The guests of the Armbrustschützenzelt were astonished when on Wednesday afternoon suddenly feet in traditional shoes and men's calves with loferln appeared between the beer mug and the chicken plate: The Schuhplattler are the only ones who are allowed to dance on the tables in the tent with impunity. Yes, they even have to, because this is the only way to see their quite sporty, short and lively brass music. And as fast as they were there, as fast the 15 Schuhplattler of the Bavarian Trachtenverband were gone again. But later they came back a few more times, for all those who missed the first dance.

Next door in the shooting hall there was also something going on: The Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association had invited about 100 association representatives and politicians to crossbow shooting. Everyone shouldered the heavy crossbow and tried to hit the mark as often as possible, at least here.

Goaßlschnalzer Goaßlschnalzer • Photo: Sebastian Liebrandt

The secret of the whips

Franz Schimpf is one of the 12 lads of the association "D'Angelbrechtinger Goaßlschnoizer", who impressed the visitors of the Armbrustschützenzelt with their art on the Wiesn today. Art is to be taken literally: Just swing the whip and create the loud bangers? It's not that simple. "It takes about two years to learn the techniques for the double strike or the triangle," says Franz. And also that each Goasslschnalzer has its own whip built and each one sounds different. Did you know that today even glass fibre is sometimes used for the whip string instead of the traditional hemp ropes?

By the way, the loud Schnalz-Gaudi doesn't harm people or beer mugs: Although the strings are up to four meters long, the boys always have their instrument under control and only let it pop in the air.

Sebastian Liebrandt

First time on Oktoberfest: A Schafkopf competition

Festwirt Peter Inselkammer had already tested his idea on a smaller scale with a Wiesn Schafkopf tournament in 2018, and that was so well received that he decided: "This year we're going to do it professionally!" That means: 180 participants, supervised by tournament director Stefan Aldenhoven of the Schafkopfschule e.V., which also supports the free game on other Wiesn days with advice and day. So if you are not quite sure how to deal with Eichel-Ober or Herz-Sau or if you have any doubts whether a Gras-Wenz has a chance with your hand, you can get expert advice.

Today, however, it was more the professionals who were at work: after all, it wasn't a question of victory bonuses like calf shoulders or a bottle of schnapps, as is often the case with normal sheep head tournaments, but of a Wiesn table for 10 people, including a measure and a chicken, in the Armbrustschützenzelt in 2020. Not only the winner, but also silver and bronze are looking forward to the next Wiesn and the visit of the Inselkammer family. By the way, the Armbrustschützenzelt will donate the entry fees and other donations to a charitable cause!

Playing cards: a charity

The Schafkopfen was a giant "Gaudi" (fun): it was clear that the Bavarian event will take place again in the "Rehbock" box of the Armbrustschützenzelt at Wiesn 2020. It's best to make a note in your calendar!

And it wasn't just the card players who had this great idea: the net proceeds from the start and donations were passed on by the Schafkopfschule e.V. to four pre-selected social projects. This was made possible because the Inselkammer family had provided the prizes. The Nicolaidis YoungWings Foundation, the St. Bonifaz Homeless Aid, Wings for Life and the Lichtblick e.V. Senior Citizens Aid were happy to receive donations.