Photo Gallery: One Delight after the Other at Munich's Oktoberfest
One Million Visitors
Oktoberfest Starts With No Reports of Stench -- Yet
More than 1 million people flocked to the Munich Oktoberfest and guzzled 520,000 liters of beer on the opening weekend. So far, fears that an evil stench of stale beer and other liquids may come to the fore in the tents as a result of a new smoking ban have not come true.
Unfazed by the prospect of
evil smells wafting through the beer tents as a result of a new smoking ban, more than 1 million visitors flocked to the Munich Oktoberfest on its opening weekend and downed some 520,000 liters of beer, the organizers said.
"The atmosphere is simply great, the visitors are in the mood for a party and St. Peter has given us the best possible Oktoberfest weather as a birthday present," Gabriele Weishäupl, the manager of the world's biggest folk festival, said in a statement.
Oktoberfest is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year and got underway at midday on Saturday when the mayor of Munich, Christian Ude, tapped the first giant keg.
This is the first Oktoberfest to have a smoking ban following a decision by the state of Bavaria this year to outlaw smoking in pubs and restaurants this year.
But the change apparently caused no difficulties. "The smoking ban in the tents was well accepted in general and was imposed without any trouble," the organizers said in a statement. And there have been no reports so far of any increase in unpleasant smells from spilled beer, greasy food, toilets and sweating lederhosen-clad revellers that have in previous years been masked by clouds of smoke.
That may be partly thanks to special bacteria being used in some of the 14 tents this year to devour the pungent waste liquids that gather under the floorboards and ferment into an odorous slime.
Jubilee Beer Popular
Meanwhile, the new
Oktoberfest Jubilee Beer, brewed jointly by the six Munich breweries in an unprecedented collaboration to mark the 200th anniversary, has been selling well, accounting for some 44,000 liters of the 520,000 drunk in the first two days of the festival. And 10 oxen have been devoured so far.
The beers are served by indefatigable and powerful waitresses like Anita Schwarz, 50, who according to Focus magazine holds a world record in the number of full glasses or Mass carried in one go -- 19.
A Mass weighs some 2.33 kilos (5.13 pounds) which means Schwarz, who works in the Ochsenbraterei tent, is capable of lifting 45 kilos. Her secret, apart from stacking the glasses properly in her arms, is weight training. This is her 24th Oktoberfest as a waitress and she starts preparing in spring by lifting weights in the fitness studio.
On a darker note, there were several violent incidents involving glasses. On Saturday afternoon, a local Munich man aged 20 got into an argument with a 29-year-old Canadian tourist and hit him on the head so hard with the Mass that the glass shattered. The Canadian was taken to hospital with concussion, Munich police said in a statement.
Three pickpockets were apprehended after being observed preying upon a drunken Irishman lying on the ground outside a tent. They helped him stand up and kindly offered to pull up his trousers once he had finished urinating, stealing €150 from his wallet in the process.