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In pictures: Oktoberfest kicks off in Munich

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In pictures: Oktoberfest kicks off in Munich

Visitors cheer during the opening day of the 185th Oktoberfest in Munich
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Mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter cracked the first beer keg on Saturday with the traditional shout of "It's tapped" - thus opening the city's 185th Octoberfest.

It's the world's largest, wildest and most famous beer festival and draws around six million people every year.

Visitors who arrive early get a seat at the coveted long communal tables in tents, where they can swig beer, munch on sausages, pretzel or pork knuckle, and listen to oompah bands.

Oktoberfest has its origins in a horse race that took place in 1810 to celebrate the wedding of Bavaria's Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen.

The public festivities became more elaborate as time went on and it gradually turned into a folk festival.

This year's festival runs from September 22 to October 7.

Reuters
Visitors cheer during the opening day of the 185th Oktoberfest in MunichReuters

Reuters
A visitor poses for a picture at the opening day of the 185th Oktoberfest in MunichReuters

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Visitors ride a roller coaster during the opening day of the 185th OktoberfestReuters

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A general view shows the festival ground during the opening day of the 185th Oktoberfest in MunichReuters

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The festival ground is reflected in a tuba during the opening day of the 185th Oktoberfest in MunichReuters

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A visitor rests during the opening day of the 185th Oktoberfest in MunichReuters

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Visitors cheer during the opening day of the 185th Oktoberfest in MunichReuters

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Munich mayor Dieter Reiter prepares to tap the first barrel of beer during the opening ceremony of the 185th Oktoberfest in MunichReuters

Reuters
Cheers! Visitors reach for the first mugs of beer during the opening day of the 185th Oktoberfest in MunichReuters

Reuters
Visitors cheer during the opening day of the 185th Oktoberfest in MunichReuters