Another eight days from now, on September the 16th, exactly at 12:00, the 196th Oktoberfest will start and Munich will be once again the beer-center of the world.
The major, Christian Ude, will tap the first barrel and has as well the priviledge, as head of the city, to get the first “Mass”!

You may have seen already the big glass-mugs which hold one liter – and are called “Mass” .. so once a thirsty guest orders, he would ask for “a Mass Bier”! The price for one liter is every year subject to speculations .. till the new nubers are publizised and usually go along with a deep *SIGH* as it climbes up steadily every single year. I don’t know how much exactly it will cost this year .. my hunch is ~7.50 Euros. Once you take a gulp, you would NOT do that without bidding your neighbour or vis-a vis a hearty “PROST”! It would be considered rude and is one of the first words every visitor of the “Wiesn” gets to learn.

There are people who describe it as the world’s biggest collective drunkenness but I find that exaggerated – there are dozens of attractions, a sea of colors, delicious smells at every corner … with a mixture of people coming from pretty much anywhere in the world, carried by a wave of eagerness to blend into the masses of drinking, eating, singing and swerving bodies inside the huge beer-tents. I want to mention at this place that this huge ox you can see at the picture is steadily rotated by those two figures in traditional clothes.

Nowadays millions of “Mass Biers”, barbecued chickens and fish on the skewer are consumed every year and I dare not to name the number of oxen who end up as monster-size-barbecues, delighting people with their delicious meat! At times the vigilanties have to close a beer-tent before things get out of control, but that rarely happens.
Can you recognize the lion on this picture? He is an absolute source of fascination for children in particular as he lowers his tail, lifts his paw with the mug and lets out a deep and roaring “LÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖWENBRÄU” every two minutes throughout the duration of the Oktoberfest! I remember myself pestering my parents over and over to return to be able to watch it and stood there in awe …

Why the Octoberfest is called this way is a riddle. It stretches over three weekends, thus two weeks with only the last weekend being in October. One of the main concerns is most certainly the weather as a watered down Oktoberfest can ruin everything but mostly we were fortunate and the grey, heavy clouds agreed to remain outside the cityboundaries till the last day was over … then nobody really opposed them anymore.

I went there yesterday afternoon to take pictures and let you participate in how it looks right now … in the “Oktoberfest in the making”!
Needless to say I will keep you updated and guide you once it will get started. I’m looking forward to it .. like every year, no question!


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