People dressed in traditional Bavarian clothing ride amusement park swings

Photo: Johannes Simon/Getty Images

Winding down

People dressed in traditional Bavarian clothing ride amusement park swings on Oct. 6, day 15 of the 179th Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, Germany.

 

As the originator of the 16-day beer festival, Munich draws more than 6 million people to the Theresienwiese grounds every year to drink, eat, dance and celebrate German Unity Day.

 

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Men decked out in traditional Bavarian clothing stand next to a display of decorative gingerbread hearts

Photo: Johannes Simon/Getty Images

Munich's global influence

Men decked out in traditional Bavarian clothing on Oct. 6 stand next to a display of decorative gingerbread hearts called Lebkuchenherzen. Iced with a variety of Bavarian greetings, the lebkuchenherzen are as much of an Oktoberfest tradition as drindls, lederhosen and endless steins of beer.

 

Munich's Oktoberfest kicked off for the first time in the early 19th century as a fair to honor Bavarian agriculture. The popularity of the festival led countless other cities across the globe to organize their own Oktoberfest events modeled after the original. The largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany is the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest in Ontario, Canada, which runs for 9 days in October and attracts up to 1 million people.

 

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Members of a Bavarian riflemen's association fire a shoot during the traditional 'Boellerschiessen'

Photo: Johannes Simon/Getty Images

Bidding farewell to the brew

Members of a Bavarian riflemen's association fire a shot during the traditional Boellerschiessen on Oct. 7, the last day of Oktoberfest in Munich. After downing nearly 7 million pints of beers, the Boellerschiessen officially signifies the closing of the world's biggest beer festival.

 

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