by Ombretta Di Dio
Munich (Germany) is getting ready for the largest beer festival in Europe: the Oktoberfest 2012 will start on September 22nd and won’t stop till October 7th, turning the city into a big “beer-garden” where over 6 million liters of pure “Bavarian gold” are poured and drunk every year.
This tradition dates back to 1810, when Prince Ludwig married Princess Theresa of Bavaria and the citizens of Munich where invited to take part in the royal celebration. Nowadays, the honor of opening the first can of beer is given to the city mayor, who announces the beginning of the event by shouting, "It's open!"
The huge area of Theresienwiese is the main theater of the party, with an amazing carnival and delicious typical sweets, sausages, and pretzels that are served both outside, in the stands, and inside, in the “Festhalle”, the enormous tents where local characteristic bands play on a central stage and long tables full of any kind of people are taken over from the first hours of the morning.
Getting a seat in a “Festhalle” is almost impossible, since a high number of reservations are made months before the event takes place, and long lines start at 7am every morning, with peaks on the weekend.
Locals usually dress up in Dirndl and Lederhose, the typical outfits worn by women and men in Bavaria and tourists often do the same, making sure to really fit into the playful and vibrant atmosphere that spreads all over Munich during those crazy days.