It is the 200th anniversary of Munich’s Oktoberfest this year, the world’s biggest party, which opens officially tomorrow and runs until October 4th.
The 17 days adds about a billion euros to Munich’s economy, or two percent of its GDP, and the festival has never seen its figures dip, even if the seven million litres of beer sold in 2007 has yet to be beaten.
Maybe the record will tumble this year though, as the Oktoberfest is seen as recession-proof. Apart from the beer, suckling pig and barbecued meat on offer there is a host of shops selling everything to make your Oktoberfest complete.
Fancy staggering around in traditional lederhosen? No problem, and there are dirndl outfitters for the ladies. After a few litres you may get confused about which is your glass, so natty personalised collars are on sale to ensure you do not commit that ultimate breach of etiquette and sup from someone else’s stein.
A final word of warning, take it easy; the Bavarian brew is a bit strong.