Oktoberfest, the world's largest funfair held annually in Munich, Germany, can be described as nothing less than an adult's Disney World.
The 16-day-long celebration is dominated by the presence of beer, usually served in one litre tankards, but is also infused with everything from feasting halls serving delectable German cuisine, elaborate floats and parades, iconic ferris wheel, carousels and larger thrill rides, crossbow competitions, non-stop music, gamehouses and stalls selling traditional Bavarian wares.
The 181st Oktoberfest, which began on 20 September, is being attended by around 6.4 million beer lovers from across the world, dressed in the traditional Bavarian costumes, Lederhosen (for men) and Dirndl dresses (for women). Around 7.7 million litre tankards of beer is served to the patrons of Oktoberfest, who are also said to collectivelly consume about 4,82,362 roast chickens, 1,12,772 pork sausages and 78,216 pork knuckles.
Known as Wiesn in Munich, Oktoberfest was first celebrated in 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, invited the citizens of Munich to celebrate his wedding to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghause. The celebrations which lasted for five days were repeated the next year as well, starting the annual tradition.
Soon an agricultural show followed and rides were added to the funfair, followed by the first carousel, which was inducted in 1818.
Soon the Oktoberfest became quite the tourist attraction and to quench the thirst of the increasing number of visitors, beer stalls were also installed. They grew rapidly in number giving way to the currently famous beer tents and halls by 1896.
Oktoberfest Beer is a registered trademark by the Club of Munich Brewers and only the six breweries in the club are allowed to produce beer for Wiesn. The beer served at the Oktoberfest is brewed within the city limits of Munich and conforms to the Reinheitsgebot or the German Beer Purity Law.
Some of the most popular snacks at the festival include Schweinshaxe (grilled ham hock), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Brezel (pretzel), Knödel (potato or bread dumpling), Käsespätzle (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancake), Sauerkraut or Rotkohl/Blaukraut (red cabbage) along with such Bavarian delicacies as Obatzda (spiced cheese-butter spread) and Weisswurst (white sausage).
As always, the fans of Oktoberfest who wishes to be at the biggest fair are a plenty, while those who are already there are tweeting about the fun times.
Pachuca tweeted, "Wish I was at #Oktoberfest2014 !!", while Nicolette Kocsi announced, "Loving life! #Europe #Oktoberfest2014".
Abbott Lara expresses her excitement with the tweet, "Munich here we come @allywalkerx #Oktoberfest2014" , while Chris Kiernan, whose hours of fun are numbered posted, "Last day on the steins #Oktoberfest2014".
Alivia Miller needs a thorough cleansing after the festivities at the Oktoberfest: "After this weekend I need an hour long shower and to attend several Sunday morning mass's #Oktoberfest2014"
Punk Rock Gentleman may be broke, but his spirits definitely broken: "#Oktoberfest2014 is here! The only problem is: I'm broke. . . so I'm just going to drink a 40 and eat some 99 Cents Store Hot Dogs instead."
Since there is no ticket for entry, visitors can turn up at any time, but Oktoberfest is not called the "world's biggest funfair" for no reason. Patrons are advised to arrive at Oktoberfest as early as possible to grab a relatively comfortable spot at the celebrations.