Oktoberfest is the celebrated every year in Munich,Germany,in honor of the 12th marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese. The citizens of Munich were invited to join in the festivities which were held over five days on the fields in front of the city gates. Anniversary celebrations were held annually which eventually became larger and more elaborate.
The celebration of Oktoberfest started in 1810. The main event of the original Oktoberfest was a horse race which was last held in 1960.
The agricultural show is put on only every four years. At present it is the world's largest beer festival. The sixteen day celebration attracts millions of people who consume gallons of beer,lakhs of porks and chicken roast every year. While the event reinforces stereotypical images of beer-loving,meat-loving Germans dressed in dirndls and lederhosen,visitors to the annual event come from all over the world. Oktoberfest is in fact one of Munich's largest and most profitable tourist attractions. The Costume and Riflemen's Procession takes place on the first Sunday of the festival. During the two weeks before the first Sunday in October the fairgrounds are transformed into a city of beer tents amusements,rides,performers and booths of vendors peddling gastronomic delights and traditional confections. The mayor of Munich opens the festivities at noon on the first day of the fair when he drives the wooden tap into a barrel of beer and proclaims O'zapft is! which means "it's tapped!".
Popular and folk music,marches and polkas make up the oompah music which is one of the famous things of Germany. As the evening wears on,the music becomes louder and more and more people begin to sing,linking arms and swinging beer mugs from one side to another side, some standing and swaying and dancing on benches or tables. Bratwursts, grilled chicken, barbequed fish, and potato salad-these are the Oktoberfest food fundamentals. Traditional pretzels and mustard are served alongside authentic German grilled sausages, imported German beer such as Pils or Hefeweizen, and a selection of quality German cheeses.