Qingdao’s ‘Octoberfest’ in remembrance of German past

People take part in the annual Qingdao Beer Festival in China’s eastern Shandong province. (AFP pic)

QINGDAO: It may be more than a century since the Germans left Qingdao but the Chinese port city still pays tribute to its Bavarian past with a huge annual “Oktoberfest”, though held in July-August.

The beer festival is the largest in Asia, attracting more than six million visitors last year.

In a setting of mock Bavarian-style cottages, servers dash to and fro with foaming one-litre (two-pint) tankards for thirsty visitors.

“It’s very lively. We are all together and the atmosphere is very good,” said Guan Xin, emptying her tankard with a friend.

While there is plenty of beer, there are no grilled sausages, the traditional fare at Munich’s Oktoberfest, just local food.

The seaside resort is the home of Tsingtao, one of the most popular beers in China and the most exported around the world.

The brewery was set up while Qingdao was under German colonial rule between 1898 and 1914.

The city still celebrates its German heritage, which includes beautiful seaside villas in the Badaguan district.