Oktoberfest opens today in Munich and new Munich mayor Dieter Reiter yelled out “Ozapft is!” (it’s tapped) after he tapped the keg in the main tent to open the festivities. The beer will be guzzled with abandon until October 6, when Oktoberfest draws to a close. (Yes, Septemberfest would have been a more accurate name this year, but tradition dies hard in Bavaria!) Before all is said and drunk, Munich expects to host 6 million hops-happy visitors.
This year marks the 176th Oktoberfest–and the first in almost 20 years where former Munich mayor Chrisian Ude didn’t open the Oktoberfest with “Ozapft is.” Germans and tourists alike will he raising their steins to say “prost” (cheers) for weeks to come. Unless they say “Zum Wohl” (To your health). That might be better–some people are known to survive Oktoberfest as much as enjoy it.