Fruhlingsfest is the German word for a town's spring festival and occurs from mid-April to the first part of May. Just about every town and community in Germany will have a Fruhlingsfest 2016 to celebrate the end of the long cold winter. Naturally, beer plays an important part in this festival as it does in just about every festival in the country. Both Nuremberg and Stuttgart have large spring festivals, but it is the Fruhlingsfest Munich that is the country's largest. Munich is the capital of Bavaria, and this kind of festival is a uniquely Bavarian celebration.
Fruhlingsfest in Munich
The city of Munich is celebrated for its beer, and it celebrates beer in one of the top world festivals—the famed Oktoberfest, which actually occurs in September. The city's Hofbrauhaus am Platzl is probably the world's most famous beer hall...and probably the world's largest. The Hofbrau Brewery hosts one of the largest tents during Oktoberfest and another one during the spring festival. If you study the calendar carefully, you will find that Fruhlingsfest Munich 2016 is only one in a long string of nearly continuous festivities that celebrates the country's favorite beverage.
Fruhlingsfest is sometimes called the "Kleine Schwester des Oktoberfestes," meaning "Oktoberfest's Little Sister." It is held in the same venue, the Theresienwiese. Fruhlingsfest Munich features an entire fairground of amusement park rides just like at Oktoberfest. There's a giant Riesenrad (Ferris wheel), the longest portable slide in Europe, miniature trains, a roller coaster, and even a carousel with a bar in its center. Don't worry, there are also rides for children, and Tuesdays are set aside as family days. And to top it all off, there are also Fruhlingsfest beer tents. Admittedly these tents aren't as numerous or as large as the ones at Oktoberfest, but they are large and they each have something different to offer. The Festhalle Bayernland tent seats about 2,000 people and serves Augustiner beer from the oldest brewery (dating to 1328) in the city. Paulaner Weizen (Bavarian "white" beer) is served in another tent with the accompaniment of a traditional Bavarian band.
Other Fruhlingsfest Locations
Munich is not the only place where beer tents and carnival rides spring up for spring festivals. They will be found around the country, in small villages and large cities from Berlin and Cologne to Passau and Bamberg. They will also be found in neighboring countries like Austria and Switzerland. These countries also have Fasching Festivals that technically begin on November 11 with parades and the crowning of a prince and princess. After a holiday break to allow space for the famed Christmas Markets and New Year celebrations, the Carnival that is similar to Mardi Gras begins in earnest in early January and lasts until Fat Tuesday and Lent when it gives way to the Strong Beer Festival in mid-March. Then comes Fruhlingsfest in April, which also features Germany's biggest flea market. Scores of stalls are set up to accommodate people shopping for souvenirs, traditional foods, and just about everything else.