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The Munich Beer Festival - Oktoberfest
The "world city with heart," Munich is your destination for "beer festival." Beer festivals are the festivals in which a variety of beers and often other alcoholic drinks are available for tasting and purchase. Beer festivals are organized in a number of countries. There are several big and small beer festivals celebrated in Germany all over the year, but the Munich beer festival is the oldest and the largest beer festival in the world.

The Munich beer festival, known as Oktoberfest, is a two-week festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany during late September and early October. Oktoberfest is one of the most celebrated events in Germany. It is largest fair in the world, with some six million people attending every year.

Traditionally, Oktoberfest takes place during the 16 days up to and including the first Sunday in October. The festival takes place on the area known as "Theresienwiese" (Field or meadow of Therese), often called "d' Wiesn" or "d'Waasn" for short. Beer is the key note of the festival. The festival begins with a keg of beer tapped by the Mayor of Munich who declares in Bavarian tone "O'zapft is!" (It's tapped!).

The first Munich beer festival took place on October 12, 1810 when "Oktoberfest" was organized to commemorate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig (King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, from whose name the name of the festival ground, "Theresienwiese" came. On the first "Oktoberfest," a great horse race was organized.

People brew special Oktoberfest beer for the occasion; the beer is slightly darker and stronger, in both taste and alcohol. It is served in Maß, a one-liter-tankard. The first bulk of beer is served to the Bavarian Minister-President. Beer is served by only local Munich breweries that are allowed to serve this beer in a Bierzelt, a beer tent which is large enough for thousands. People also consume large quantities of food, most of it traditional hearty fare such as sausage, hendl (chicken), käsespätzle (cheese noodles), and sauerkraut, along with such Bavarian delicacies as roast ox tails.

Oktoberfest became the enormously world-famous festival by 1960, but the year marked the end of Horse races. The Japanese, Americans, and New Zealanders discovered the festival and often traveled to Germany during late September and early October to enjoy the Munich beer festival. Munich became the world famous city, and traditional German dresses, such as Sennerhut, Lederhosen, and Dirndl became extremely famous world wide.

There are often problems associated with the people who can't hold large amounts of alcohol. Sometimes some people fall sick due to drunkenness, and there is often a medical tent to treat drunks as well as sick people. The concept of the "quiet Oktoberfest" was developed in 2005 to undermine the violence in the festival. The music played in the afternoon is limited to 85 decibels. The tents only play quiet music, traditional wind music until 6:00 PM, and Schlager and pop music are played later.

The Munich beer festival is still one of the most famous festivals in the world. So, if you are planning your tour to Germany and you love drinking, do plan your tour during late September and early October to make yourselves part of the world famous Oktoberfest.
About the Author
Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Munich holiday apartments.
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