GERMANY – At precisely 12 o’clock, the Mayor of Munich tapped a beer barrel three times and proclaimed “O’zapft is” (it’s tapped), marking the opening of the world’s largest beer festival, Oktoberfest, which spans 18 days.
The Oktoberfest beer festival was first held in 1810 to celebrate the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese. Over its more than 200-year history, the festival has been canceled 26 times due to wars, natural disasters, and pandemics.
In keeping with tradition, the festival officially begins when the Mayor of Munich performs the ritual of tapping a beer barrel three times and exclaims “O’zapft is” at 12 noon on opening day. This year, the festival continues to take place at Theresienwiese Park for 18 days, two days longer than usual, featuring dozens of beer tents and hundreds of stalls.
The festival is open to the public, but seating is limited. To have a good experience, visitors can proactively reserve seats in advance at beer tents during the two main time slots: morning and evening. Each beer tent has its pricing. According to regulations, these beer tents are open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily throughout the festival. On weekends and holidays, they open an hour earlier.
During this event, it is estimated that nearly 500 breweries will bring at least 6 million barrels of beer. However, due to prolonged inflation, a one-liter beer stein will be sold for prices ranging from 12.6 to 14.9 euros, an increase of over 6% compared to the previous year. Additionally, non-alcoholic beverages are priced at an average of 10.04 euros, soft drinks at 11.65 euros, and lemonade at 11.17 euros per liter.
Vendors at beer tents wear traditional Bavarian attire when attending the festival, with women wearing Dirndl dresses and men wearing knee-length leather pants. While there are no specific dress code requirements, many guests also wear similar outfits when attending the festival. However, large bags are prohibited from entering the beer tents.