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Guzzling Beer at Oktoberfest in Germany
As synonymous with autumn as Thanksgiving and blisters from raking leaves, Oktoberfest is one of Germany's biggest exports to the world. Every city has some version of it -- Kitchener and Waterloo, Ontario, co-host the largest Oktoberfest outside of Germany -- but the original in Munich remains the largest and most authentic.
Shouldn't it be called Septemberfest? Back when it first started in the early 1800's (to honor the Bavarian crown prince's marriage), Oktoberfest did indeed happen in October. Subsequent celebrations started earlier, and organizers soon realized September weekends tended to be warmer and attract bigger crowds. Thus the majority of the event happens then.
This year, the first keg will be tapped during a ceremony at noon on September 22, and the festivities last until October 7. What do they involve? Smooshing yourself onto long benches at tables under tents and drinking beer from liter mugs bigger than your head. Prost!