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Oktoberfest underway in Munich

This year’s Oktoberfest has kicked off in Munich, with the traditional start of the local mayor tapping this first cask and declaring “O zapft is” – “it’s tapped”.

Mayor Christian Ude opened the 180th beer festival and handed the first glass to Bavarian governor Horst Seehofer, as tradition dictates.

It is expected that around seven million visitors will descend on Munich for the festival, which runs until Sunday 6 October and it is estimated around 15 million pints of beer will be drunk.

Mayor Ude did have a cautionary word for anyone who is contemplating drinking to excess during this year’s Oktoberfest. He told Deutsche Welle: “What I don’t like here is competitive drinking. You don’t need to prove to the world that you’re a total idiot.”

Drinkers will also have to pay more than ever to enjoy their festival beers this year, with the average cost of a one-litre stein now totalling €9.66, just over £8.10.

Oktoberfest began in 1810 as a horse race to entertain the public during the wedding of Bavaria’s crown prince. It was originally held in October but was brought forward to September to take advantage of better weather.

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