Taipei, Taiwan – In an effort to bring the spirit of the traditional Oktoberfest to Taiwan, the German Trade Office Taipei (GTO) hosted the "GTO Oktoberfest and German Business Day" event on October 5th. The event featured a traditional "tapping the beer keg" ceremony, allowing Taiwanese and German business representatives to immerse themselves in the charm of the Oktoberfest. Mr. Axel Limberg, Chief Representative and Executive Director of the GTO, not only welcomed guests to experience the festival but also announced two German Christmas market events in December. The events invite all Taiwanese to step into a German-style Christmas market and indulge in various German toys, delicacies, and beverages.
Since 2016, the German Trade Office Taipei has organized the Oktoberfest and German Business Day event, garnering acclaim over the years. It has become an annual highlight of the Taiwanese-German social scene, attracting a full house of attendees each year. This year, more than 550 guests enjoyed an authentic Oktoberfest celebration. Furthermore, the event went the extra mile by featuring a traditional German brass band performance titled 'Die Hofbräuhaus show,' which was flown in by EVA Air directly from Munich to Taipei. This performance delivered classic Oktoberfest tunes, allowing attendees to immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere through visuals, flavors, and sounds. Beyond introducing unique German culture to Taiwan through this event, it serves as one of the annual highlights for the Taiwanese and German business communities, fostering bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
"We are delighted to once again host the Oktoberfest. Events like this, which combine socializing and culture, not only invigorate business relations between Taiwan and Germany but also allow Taiwanese friends to experience the festive atmosphere of the Oktoberfest" stated Mr. Limberg during his opening remarks. He also shared interesting facts about Oktoberfest. "The renowned physicist Albert Einstein once worked as an electrician in a beer festival tent, so remember to engage with the people around you, as they might become your future business partners." He further thanked our event partners: EVA Airways Corporation, Infineon Technologies Taiwan Co., Ltd., Merck Ltd., Mercedes-Benz Taiwan LTD., DEKRA Testing and Certification Co., Ltd., TÜV SÜD Asia Limited Taiwan Branch, CARL ZEISS Co., Ltd., Deutsche Bank AG Taipei Branch, TRUMPF Taiwan Industries Co., Ltd., HÄFELE Taiwan Limited, TAITRA and EverFine Industrial Co., Ltd.
This year's Oktoberfest was attended by Vice Premier of the Executive Yuan, Mr. Wen-Tsan Cheng, and the Director General of the German Institute Taipei, Dr. Jörg Polster, among other distinguished guests. Following their speeches, the Chief Representative Mr. Limberg and the Vice Premier Mr. Wen-Tsan Cheng participated in the traditional keg tapping ceremony, officially opening the event. The German Trade Office, in collaboration with Hofbräu beer, prepared a sumptuous feast of German cuisine and unlimited German beer for the guests, complemented by live performances from a German band, ensuring an unforgettable evening for all attendees.
In addition to the GTO Oktoberfest and German Business Day, from December 1st to 3rd, the fourth edition of the "German Christmas Market" will take place at the Flower Expo Park Taipei, Corridor Plaza. Additionally, from December 15th to 17th, the "2023 German Christmasland in New Taipei City" will be held at the New Taipei City Plaza. Both events will feature a wide array of German toys, food, and beverages, including gingerbread, stollen, sausages, beer, mulled wine, Christmas decorations, and more, allowing Taiwanese people to experience the authentic German Christmas atmosphere.
Appendix: Five lesser-known facts about the Oktoberfest
- The Oktoberfest (held from September 16th to October 3rd in 2023), originated from a Bavarian royal wedding in 1810. Over time, it evolved into today's carnival celebration, featuring beer, food, music, and amusement rides.
- According to the German Beer Purity Law of 1516 (Reinheitsgebot), traditional German beer only consists of three ingredients: barley, hops, and water.
- Beer sold at the Oktoberfest is specially brewed by breweries, with an alcohol content as high as 6.8%, surpassing the alcohol content of commercially available beers, which typically ranges from 4.8% to 5.4%.
- When Germans toast or clink glasses, they must make eye contact; otherwise, it is considered bad luck. The reason for eye contact is rooted in trust. Legend has it that in medieval times, if someone wanted to poison your beer, they would watch the glass carefully while toasting, fearing that the poisoned beer might spill into their own glass during the clinking. Therefore, making eye contact while toasting signifies mutual trust.
- Traditional German women's attire, known as Dirndl, must extend beyond the knees and be paired with closed-toe shoes. Additionally, the bow on the apron holds special significance: tying it on the left side indicates being single, on the right-side means married, tying it in the middle signifies being a virgin or young girl, and tying it at the back suggests being a widow or a restaurant staff member.