Oktoberfest, Germany

This year, the Munich Oktoberfest held in Germany takes place from 17th September until 3rd October 2011. Where else can you go and celebrate drinking beer en masse?! Oktoberfest is a huge annual festival with music, performances, fun fairs, great German food and of course, lots of beer drinking!

The festival is officially opened on the first day by the Lord Mayor of Munich at midday. He has the honour of tapping the first keg of Oktoberfest beer. Once the keg is opened, all of the public can have a drink of beer. The beer is then served every day for the entire festival. There are also family days, rides, carnivals and music that run alongside the beer-drinking.

What’s more, entry to the event is free to the public although you do have to pay for the beer!

The origins of the festival began in 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig (who later became King Ludwig the First) and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen commemorated their marriage with a great horse race. It wasn’t until 1887 that the large beer tents were brought in for the tens of thousands of festival goers to enjoy. Nowadays, there are literally millions of visitors each year with tourists coming in from the United States, Japan, Brazil and Australia as well as the neighboring countries in Europe. It has become a world famous event with over 6 million litres of beer drunk every year! Das ist eine menge bier!

Last year was a particulary special year as the festival celebrated its 200th anniversary!

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