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What You should know about Oktoberfest

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The original Oktoberfest takes place in Munich, Germany, on the ground known as “Theresienwiese”, which is also called “Festwiese” by the locals.

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Oktoberfest has a humble beginning. It was just a simple wedding celebration which has transformed into a 17 or 18-day festival. About 7 million people from around the world participate in the festivities, consuming more than 6 million liters of Bavarian beer.

That’s roughly a million gallons of beer!

That is a whole lot of beer! Only six breweries are represented at the Oktoberfest grounds – Späten, Augustiner, Paulaner, Hacker-Poschorr, Hofbräu and Löwenbräu.

Oktoberfest officially begins on the second to last Saturday in September at noon when the mayor of Munich taps the first barrel at the Schottenhamel Tent, crying “O’zapft is” (It’s open).

The festival concludes the first Sunday of October following German reunification day on October 5.

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Half of the year, the grounds are simply a public park. Around June, the tents and fun fair foundations begin their staggered process of construction with a completion date of late September, just in time for the beginning of the festival. This area hosts a space of 420,000 sq ft and is easy to get to from central Munich.

The price for a liter of beer ranges between €8 and €9 per liter (about $10-12).

A liter of table water costs about €6. Soft drinks also cost about €6-7 (you’ll usually find Coke and Spezi, a Coke/Fanta mix).

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All beer served at Oktoberfest is 13.5% Stammwürze, which equates to around 6% alcohol content. The average American beer is about 3-5%. The beer is often stronger than at home, so you are advised not to go on an empty stomach. But be careful what you eat.

Dress code? Many locals and visitors of all ages choose to suit up in Trachten, traditional garb for the fest, with men sporting the suspendere and leather trouser lederhosen while women wear the traditional Bavarian Dirndl.

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