Even if they've never been to Germany, most travelers have heard of Oktoberfest, the annual German festival of beer, brats and other Bavarian goodies. Yet there's nothing like experiencing the original celebration, now in its 200th year, in the city of Munich.
The first Oktoberfest came about as the wedding celebration of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludvig and Princess Therese. Since then, the gathering has become an annual tradition. Munich residents, who refer to it as the "Weisn," turn out in droves every year, although the festival's popularity worldwide means that quite a few international travelers have made the trip in recent years.
Normally, the festival is highlighted by a competition between the city's main six breweries to see who can produce the best beer. But this year, the rival companies put aside their differences in order to collaborate on a special "Jubilee Beer" in honor of the event's 200th anniversary. Organizers have also set up a special area chronicling the event's history.
Various families and organizations set up tents every year, welcoming in visitors with promises of beer, food and entertainment.
For those planning European travel in the month of October, the country of Germany, especially Munich, is one place they should certainly consider.
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