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brianac
September 23rd, 2008, 05:41 AM
The first toasts are raised for Oktoberfest in Munich

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Munich mayor Christian Ude opened the 175th Oktoberfest beer festival with the traditional cry of "O' zapft is!" meaning "It's tapped!"
Picture: Getty

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A 12-gun salute signalled to the hundreds of thousands that it was time to get the beer flowing
Picture: REUTERS

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The 16-day festival is a huge tourist draw for this southern German city. Six million visitors from all over the world are expected to prowl Munich's sprawling 31-hectare Theresienwiese grounds in search of a coveted seat inside the beer tents
Picture: AP

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The event is an annual ritual that dates from 1810 and the party thrown by the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to celebrate his marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, it is therefore soaked in Bavarian tradition
Picture: Getty

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Visitors will consume at least five million litres (it's not served in smaller measures) of beer and 80,000 litres of wine
Picture: Getty

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They will be entertained by a colourful parade of floats, a funfair and a variety of bands that frequently strike up the festival's all-time favourite: "Ein Prosit, ein Prosit!"
Picture: REUTERS

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Between the drinking and the singing, they will eat generous portions of roast chicken, giant pretzels, heart-shaped gingerbread inscribed with messages such as "I mog di" (Bavarian for "I like you") and - for those needing something more substantial to soak up all that alcohol - steaming platefuls of ox meat
Picture: Getty

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It's hot and it's crowded so, unsurprisingly, some drinkers overdo it (though considerably fewer than one might expect at an equivalent event in Britain)
Picture: Getty

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Although the original Oktoberfest in 1810 was in October, the annual 16-day bash into which it has developed is now held during the last two weeks of September (ending on the first Sunday of October)
Picture: Getty

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This year's Oktoberfest has courted controversy with Bavaria's governor backing off an assertion that some people can drive safely after downing two litres (4.2 pints) of beer, a comment that drew anger and derision
Picture: Getty

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It is also the first since the new smoking ban inside the tents
Picture: REUTERS

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Oktoberfest 2008 runs from 20 September to 5 October in Munich
Picture: REUTERS

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Gossioii7
April 18th, 2009, 11:01 AM
A wonderful article…. In my life, I have never seen a man be so selfless in helping others around him to get along and get working.