Oktoberfest has been celebrated in Munich annually for more than 200 years, since the wedding of Bavarian king Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in 1810. It's a great opportunity to become a part of huge celebration, know more about German culture and traditions, try delicious German beer, and of course visit beautiful old city of Munich.
The Oktoberfest celebrations start with the big parade of the tent proprietors and the Munich breweries. Visit the big tent owners and breweries parade and see the horse carts decorated with flowers, beer tent waitresses with big beer mugs, the big brass bands from the beer tents and the impressive beer wagons with garlands and big wooden barrels. From 20th of September to 5th of October in Munich is held the most popular beer festival in the world. Tent Owners and Breweries Parade starts at 10:45 on September 20th. Munich breweries produce a special sort of beer for Oktoberfest - Oktoberfest beer. This beer is brewed according to German Beer Purity Law of 1516. Traditionally Oktoberfest beer is the lager of around 5.8 to 6.3% called Märzen - brewed in March and allowed to ferment slowly during the summer months. Beer is sold in special tents, which are usually run by the same people year after year. Running a tent is usually a family tradition, which is passed from generation to generation.
About 1000 people take part in the parade, which took place for the first time in 1887. Tradition has it, that the parade is headed by the Münchner Kindl, the Munich city mascot, followed by the horse cart with the mayor of Munich. After them, tent proprietors, breweries and carnies follow in their wagons. Starting point is the Josephspitalstrasse in the Munich city centre, then the parade marches along Sonnen- and Schwanthalerstrasse and to the Oktoberfest via Bavariaring. Map for the route of the parade (red line)
Annually approximately 6 million people visit Oktoberfest. The majorities of visitors follow old Oktoberfest traditions and dress up in traditional Bavarian clothes. For women it is dirndl - a dress with tight bodice and low-cut neckline, and for men it is lederhosen - leather breeches. For 2 weeks of festivals visitors drink almost 6 millions liters of beer, eat almost 500 thousands roast chickens and 1,5 millions Bavarian sausages - Weisswurst. The usual rise of the beer price at the Oktoberfest has made the price for one Mass reach a historic mark. An average 2.58% more expensive than last year, some tents now charge 10€ or more for one liter of beer. At the Löwenbräuzelt, the Schottenhamel and the Bratwurst, you will find the most expensive Mass with a price of 10.10€. The cheapest beer can be found at two smaller tents, Heimer's Roasted Duck and Chicken and Heinz' Sausage and Chicken Grill.
Sources: Oktoberfest.de, Excursopedia, Munich City Tours