Over six million visitors in just 16 days. More than 6.7 million litres of beer served. The world’s tallest drop tower. Munich’s annual Oktoberfest – which begins this year on 20 September – is a showcase of superlatives.
On the dot of 12 noon on Saturday, September 20th, Munich’s mayor Christian Ude will tap the first barrel thus declaring the “Wiesn“ – as the Munich people call it – officially open. The festivities continue until Sunday, October 5th, 2014.
History of the tradition:
It all started with a horse race which the national guard staged for the people on 17th August 1810 to mark the wedding of the Ludwig Crown Prince of Bavaria (later King Ludwig I) to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The race was such a success that it was staged again the following year on the Theresienwiese – the meadow named in honour of the Princess. From 1870 onwards the number of stalls began to increase and in 1896 the very first beer tents were erected which sold only beer brewed in Munich – a tradition which has remained to the present day. Due to lack of space the horse races with which it all began were staged for the last time in 1936.
>> More information: http://www.bavaria.us/oktoberfest-munich-germany-beer-festival