Autumn begins Monday evening, but today could be considered the unofficial beginning of the fall season.
At noon, today ―München (Munich), Germany time― the lord mayor of Munich, in Bavaria, tapped the first keg of the Oktoberfest. Standing in the Spaten (Schottenhamel) tent, he proclaimed, "O'zapft is!" ("the barrel has been tapped"), and the world's largest party commenced, for the 181st time.
For the next sixteen days, today until 5 October, over 6.5 million people will attend Oktoberfest in Munich. They'll drink more than 5.8 million Maßkrug of Oktoberfest beer, mugs holding a liter each. (To put it in U.S. terms, that'll be 10.6 million pints.) They'll eat more than 589,000 rotisserie chickens, 320,00 sausages, 200,000 fish, 60 deer (in smaller portions), and meat butchered from 84 cows. And, they'll make use of 1,800 toilets.
The fraulein (young lady) above, is not the lord mayor of Munich, but she is wearing a 'glamed' up variant of a dirndl: "a type of traditional dress worn in Germany – especially Bavaria – based on the historical costume of Alpine peasants."
Note, however, the non-traditional can of Red Bull at her feet. She was not in Munich, but in Arlington, Virginia, in 2011, for the Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest, an annual one-day festival organized by the Capitol City Brewing Company, in the neighborhood outside its brewpub, in this Washington, D.C. suburb. If not quite 6.5 million people, 8,000 attended that year.
- This year's Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest —the 15th annual running of this one-afternoon event— will occur Saturday, 4 October 2014, from 12 noon until 7 pm Sixty-five breweries will be participating. For more details: here.
- Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, often posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, with a good fermentable as a subject.
- Commercial reproduction requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.