Munich Oktoberfest – One of world's favorite and most famous festivals – got under way in the capital of Bavaria on Saturday. Munich mayor Dieter Reiter opened the city's annual Oktoberfest with the traditional call of "Ozapft is" to the delight of thousands who had managed to get a place in the main beer tent on Saturday. Following festival protocol, Mr Reiter handed the first beer mug, called a "Mass", to Bavarian Governor Horst Seehofer. Earlier the festive grounds witnessed the traditional Grand entry of the Oktoberfest landlords and breweries with their beer barrels.
Thousands had managed to get a place in the main beer tent to cheer the spigot being hammered into the first massive keg of beer.The festival, which runs until 5 October, is a huge tourist draw for the southern city.
First Oktoberfest dated back to 1810, when the citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event of the marriage of King Ludwig I, and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on 12th October 1810 . The fields were the celebration have taken place have been named Theresienwiese ("Theresa's fields") in honor of the Crown Princess ever since, although the locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the "Oktoberfest".
Some 6.5 million people from around the world are expected to visit the world's biggest beer party that runs until 5th October and last year the visitor numbers clocked to 6.4 million. The beer drinkers also downed 6.7 million liters of beer and devoured 114 oxen last year, the organizers said.
Siemens technologies keep the show going at the Munich Oktoberfest
Automation solutions from tech giant Siemens are also controlling the beer pipeline – the only one of its kind worldwide – that supplies several of the tents with their special Oktoberfest brews.The system is completely online and the brewers can monitor the flow and consumption of beer with their mobilephones or tabs.