Oktoberfest The Oktoberfest for beginners

The Oktoberfest in Munich is the biggest beer festival in the world. If you are there for the first time there are a few important things you need to know.

By Lisa Sonnabend, Sarina Pfauth

The Oktoberfest in Munich is the biggest beer festival in the world. If you are there for the first time there are a few important things you need to know.

How long it goes on for

The Oktoberfest is 16 days of drinking, swaying along with music and partying. This year the Oktoberfest is on from 21 September to 6 October 2013. The festival is traditionally opened by the Mayor of Munich. On Saturday 21 September at 12.00 hours Christian Ude will tap a beer barrel until the beer starts flowing out. Then he shouts: "O'zapft is!" That's Bavarian. Translated from standard German it means: "It's tapped - the Oktoberfest can begin." Beforehand the brewery landlords arrive with horses to move into their tents at the Oktoberfest. On Sunday 22 September, a traditional costume parade takes place in the centre of Munich, involving thousands walking down the streets clad in traditional dress, playing brass band music and dancing. The parade is very popular among locals and tourists alike.