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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

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

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