Germany’s famous Oktoberfest opens after two-year pandemic hiatus
MUNICH: Beer is flowing at Munich’s famous Oktoberfest for the first time since 2019.
With three hammer blows and the traditional shout of “O’zapft is” – “It’s tapped” – Mayor Dieter Reiter inserted the tap into the first cask at noon on Saturday September 17, officially opening the festivities after a two-year hiatus. forced by the coronavirus pandemic.
Oktoberfest usually attracts around 6 million visitors each year to the crowded festival grounds of the Bavarian capital. The event did not take place in 2020 and 2021 as authorities grappled with the unpredictable development of COVID-19 infections and restrictions.
These worries have been put aside this year. The city announced in late April that Oktoberfest would continue, and Reiter said on Saturday “it was a good decision.”
“I am happy that we can finally celebrate together,” Bavarian Governor Markus Soeder said at the opening ceremony. “There are many who say, ‘Can we, can’t we? Is it appropriate now? I just want to say one thing: we have two or three difficult years behind us, no one knows exactly what this winter will look like, and we need joy in life and strength.
In its 200-year history, the world’s largest folk festival has only been canceled 26 times, mainly due to World Wars I and II, but also twice due to cholera outbreaks.
When the festival was last held in 2019, the 6.3 million guests drank over 7.3 million liters of German beer. Oktoberfest generates around 1.2 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in revenue.