Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Oktoberfest 2013 kicks off in Munich Germany: with a cry of 'O'zapft is' Mayor Christian Ude signals start of Bavarian beer and bratwurst bonanza

MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21:  Revellers reach for the first beer mug at Hofbraeuhaus beer tent during day 1 of the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors.  (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
Revellers at the Hofbraeuhaus beer tent during day 1 of the Oktoberfest 2013 beer festival at Theresienwiese on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer festival and draws millions of visitors.
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21:  Revellers attend the opening day of he Oktoberfest at Hofbraeu tent on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors.  (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: Revellers attend the opening day of he Oktoberfest at Hofbraeu tent on September 21, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Oktoberfest, which this year will run from September 21 through October 6, is the world's largest beer fest and draws millions of visitors. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 20: Bavarian dressed members of a participate participate in the traditional riflemen's parade on September 20, 2009 in Munich, Germany. The riflemen's parade marks day 2 of the Munich Oktoberfest beer festival. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

The mayor of Munich has tapped the first keg of beer at Oktoberfest 2013 to kick off the 180th traditional German folk festival Oktoberfest.

With a blow of his hammer and a cry of "O'zapft is" (It's tapped) - Mayor Christian Ude inserted the first tap into the first keg as the festival opened on Saturday morning.

More than seven million beer drinkers are expected to descend on the beer tents of the Bavarian capital to celebrate Oktoberfest until Sunday October 6 drinking an estimated 15 million glasses of beer.

This year the mayor issued a warning to revellers not to overdo the drinking at Oktoberfest which also doubles as a fun fair.

"What I don't like here is competitive drinking," Ude told Deutsche Welle. "You don't need to prove to the world that you're a total idiot."

This year the beer is costing festival-goers between €9.40 and €9.85 euros for a Mass.

Oktoberfest began in 1810 as a horse race to entertain the public during a Bavarian royal wedding. It was originally held in October but was  brought forward by one month to take advantage of better weather.

Gary Fennelly

Oktoberfest-infographic-1.jpg 

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