The first keg has been tapped and the beer is flowing as the 185th Oktoberfest gets underway in Munich.
Mayor Dieter Reiter inserted the tap in the first keg on today with two blows of a hammer and the cry of ‘O’zapft is’ – ‘it’s tapped.’
As tradition demands, he handed the first mug to Bavarian governor Markus Soeder, who declare
d that ‘the Oktoberfest is perhaps Bavaria’s biggest and best calling card in the world.’
Around 6 million visitors are expected at the festival grounds in Munich before the Oktoberfest ends on October 7th.
A souvenir seller is pictured in a beer tent on the opening day of the 2018 Oktoberfest beer festival today in Munich
A huge swathe of visitors celebrate in a beer tent on the opening day of the 2018 Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich today
First visitors book tables inside a tent before the official opening of the 185th Oktoberfest. About six million people attend or visit Oktoberfest annually
Female visitors cheer with their extra large beers during the opening day of the 185th Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
As in previous years, backpacks and large bags are banned for security reasons.
Beer prices are up again, with a litre (2-pint) mug costing up to 11.50 euros ($13.50) – a 55-cent increase over last year.
Hundreds of visitors, most of them wearing traditional lederhosen or dirndls, waited to be let in the festival grounds early Saturday morning ahead of the official keg-tapping at noon.
Some 600 police officers and hundreds of stewards will keep order at the fenced-off grounds over the 16 days of the event.
A woman wearing a traditional Bavarian Dirndl dress drinks beer as others reach for a stein during Munich’s Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest is a massive undertaking, with tents usually going up in July, a few months in advance of the festival
People run to enter the 185th Oktoberfest, seats are at a premium at the festival even though there around 100,000
Some of the larger Oktoberfest beer tents can accommodate 7,000 to nearly 10,000 people, but there is still need to rush
People reach for a beer that’s spilling over after being handed down in to the crowd, the crowd look on in amusement
Young women lift glasses of beer during the opening of the 185th ‘Oktoberfest’ beer festival in Munich today
Excited and thirsty visitors take selfies before the opening the 185th Oktoberfest, Munich’s annual beer festival
Visitors cheer during opening day of 185th Oktoberfest in Munich today. The festival typically draws over six million visitors
A man dressed in traditional German lederhosen reaches out for an overflowing beer already clutched by several others
Brass musicians are pictured marching at the opening day of Oktoberfest, they traditionally finish concert at Bavarian statue
Visitors, lucky to get one of 100,000 seats, wait inside the Hofbraeu tent for opening of the 185th Oktoberfest beer festival
The ‘Munich Kindl’ is pictured, it is the coat of arms of Munich and depicts a young monk dressed in black holding a red book
A man excites crowd in traditional dress as Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter gets the festival underway with a double hammer blow
A waitress rushes to get a pile of steins to revellers at the festival. The area of the grounds is around 4.5 million square feet
Munich mayor Dieter Reiter prepares to tap the first barrel of beer during the opening ceremony of the 185th Oktoberfest
A waitress carries beer steins in a beer tent. Oktoberfest’s website states that around 7,000,000 litres of beer will be drank
The festival has annually served about 7 million liters of beer; that is enough to fill nearly three Olympic-size swimming pools
The breweries whose beers are served, as is for Oktoberfest 2018, are only those with a long tradition in Munich’s city limits
The six popular breweries are Paulaner, Spaten, Löwenbräu, Augustiner, Hofbräu and Hacker-Pschorr
A man downs his beer as a crowd watch on and cheer for him, scenes like this are very common at Oktoberfest beer festival
Told you so. A woman decked out in traditional German dress has a go at making her massive beer disappear quickly
A general view shows the festival ground during the opening day of the 185th Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany September 22
Another general views shows just how many people flock to the festival, dubbed the most popular in the world
A waiter carries one liter glass mugs of beer in the Paulaner tent shortly after the official opening of the festival today
Revelers wearing dirndls and lederhosen, including two young women dodging a photograph but who afterwards indicated they did not mind being photographed, attend the opening day
Visitors dressed in traditional Bavarian clothes wait before the opening of the 185th Oktoberfest in Munich today
Spirits are high at the festival in Munich where there is room for approximately 100,000 people can be seated
Mayor Dieter Reiter inserted tap in the first keg on today with two blows of a hammer and the cry of ‘O’zapft is’ – ‘it’s tapped’
Staff members wave from the balcony of the Schottenhamel tent. It is one of the most important tents of the site, as everything starts inside this tent
Gingerbreads are displayed in a booth during the 185th Oktoberfest. The traditional gingerbread comes with a message on it
Beer, beer and more beer. As usual, over 6 million liters of beer will be drunk this year. Price: A “Mass”, one litre of beer, will cost between 9.70 € and 10.10 € this year
There is some food, too! Waitress carries roasted chickens inside the Hofbraeu tent, 550,000 units of chicken will be cooked
There is 549,899 units of chicken at the festival, as well as 140,225 pairs of sausages and 44,320 kg of fish among much more
It does get too much for some, a reveller in traditional Bavarian clothing sleeps on a meadow during the opening day
Another man takes a well-earned rest. About 500-600 passports are routinely lost, with some brought to lost and found, at the festival