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11 facts about lederhosen for Oktoberfest

September 19, 2018

Lederhosen were not always popular. They nearly disappeared in the 1880s! But thanks to one Bavarian teacher and his drinking buddies, the shorts will fill Oktoberfest tents. DW presents some surprising lederhosen facts.

Bayerische Lederhose
Image: Fotolia/Stihl024

For many Oktoberfest revelers, Lederhosen are their apparel of choice. The leather shorts can be seen at every beer tent during the Munich beer festival, which is held from September 22 through October 7 this year.

Read more: 5 things you should know before going to Oktoberfest

Above-the-knee, below-the-knee, mini-shorts for women and even lederhosen for dogs! Lederhosen's styles seem endless — and far from the leather breeches' origins with the rural working class.

These mountain men valued the shorts' impermeability, durability and range of movement — qualities which can be appreciated by the Oktoberfest visitor as he risks beer spillages while fighting his way through the crowds to lower himself into a narrow seat on a wooden bench.

Lederhosen owe their visibility today at Oktoberfest and beyond to one 19th-century Bavarian and his drinking buddies, who were determined to keep the garment from dying out. Little did those men know that lederhosen would become part of a huge global industry.

Read more: Beer culture - this is how Germany drinks

A brass band plays in front of the ferris wheel at 2013 Oktoberfest
This traditional Bavarian brass band sported above-the-knee lederhosen at the 2013 OktoberfestImage: Getty Images
DW author Cristina Burack.
Cristina Burack Editor and reporter focusing on culture, politics and history