Munich celebrates Oktoberfest with beer and lederhosen
Munich is running wild with visitors happily celebrating Oktoberfest. Have a look at the traditional Bavarian costumes, revelry and tradition.
A running start to day one
"O'zapft is" has been the motto since September 16. Thousands of visitors happily celebrate Oktoberfest for 17 days. On the opening day, around 450,000 guests visited the famous Bavarian festival. Most tables in the beer tents were booked out; those who are good on their feet rush straight from the entrance to the tent of their choice to grab a coveted free seat.
A massive party
Few here worry about the coronavirus pandemic anymore, and the energy crisis seems to have been forgotten — for a moment at least. The tourist industry is confident that, for the first time since the pandemic, many people from abroad have come to enjoy the unique atmosphere.
'Spatzl, i mog di'
A large selection of gingerbread hearts dangles from a stand with greetings for a visitor's "sweety." The Wiesn preserves its traditions but wants to become more sustainable. Hotel owners determine their CO2 consumption and recycle the rinsing water of the beer mugs for flushing the toilets. Vegan and vegetarian dishes as well as organic chicken in the festival tents are also new to the menu.
Dirndl or lederhosen?
Whether in its a dirndl or lederhosen, for many people traditional costume is a must at Oktoberfest. Almost 200 years ago, gentlemen wore frock coats and top hats alongside ladies in French empire-style dresses. It wasn't until the mid-1990s that traditional Bavarian costumes became popular at the Wiesn. These gentlemen have opted for not quite traditional calf warmers.
'Beer, coming through'
While most visitors know when to head home or trade beer for something non-alcoholic, the large amount of beer consumed at Oktoberfest can have its downsides. The occasional fight breaks out and this year, less than four hours after the first keg is tapped, paramedics attend to the first "alcohol-related total breakdown." sexual assaults are also reported every year.
Police on patrol
Still, police said the first days of the festival have not been particularly rowdy. Authorities said they were called to about as many incidents as previous years. Ever since police started playing popular and folk music from a special bus near the entrance to the Oktoberfest grounds some 15 years ago, they say they've seen fewer violent incidents there.
A roller coaster accident
There was a scarey moment on the "Höllenblitz" family roller coaster. A car rolled back and collided with a stationary car, slightly injuring eight people. The police started an investigation into the cause of the accident and the Höllenblitz is at a standstill until officials are sure it's safe.
Around 140 people operate rides at the Wiesn. Some historic attractions like the Toboggan slide or the Devil's Wheel can only be seen at the Oktoberfest. The Olympia looping roller coaster and the Ferris wheel are also legendary. A spectacular novelty at the 188th Oktoberfest is "Mr. Gravity," which spins people high in the air at speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour).