Oktoberfest 2012

On Saturday, the 179th Oktoberfest opened in Munich, Germany, with the traditional tapping of the first keg of beer by Munich's mayor, Christian Ude, as he shouted, "O'zapft is!" ("It's tapped!"). The Bavarian festival is open until October 7, and 6 million people are expected to attend. Last year, visitors drank nearly 8 million one-liter mugs of beer. Attendance is free, but the beer will cost you: This year, the price of a mug at any of the 14 tents comes to €9.50 ($12.30 U.S.). Gathered here are some scenes from Oktoberfest 2012's first few days.
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1. A waitress carries beer steins in the Hofbrau tent, during the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich, Germany, on September 22, 2012.




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2. Members of a brass band wearing traditional Bavarian clothes participate in the riflemen's parade on September 22, 2012 in Munich, Germany.




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3. A brass band plays in the Theresienwiese in Munich during Oktoberfest, on September 23, 2012.




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4. Oktoberfest visitors crowd the entrance to the Schottenhamel Beer Tent in Munich, on September 22, 2012.




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5. In the Schottenhamel tent at the Theresienwiese in Munich, Munich's mayor, Christian Ude taps the first keg, opening Oktoberfest 2012 with the traditional cry of "O'zapft is."




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6. Revelers celebrate during the opening of the 179th Oktoberfest in Munich, on September 22, 2012. Millions of beer drinkers from around the world are expected to come to the Bavarian capital over the next two weeks.




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7. Festival-goers reach out for the first beer in the traditional one-liter "Masskrug" beer mugs on the opening day of Oktoberfest at the Theresienwiese in Munich, on September 22, 2012.




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8. Young men and women toast after getting their first beer on the opening day of Oktoberfest in Munich, on September 22, 2012.




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9. A waitress carries beer steins in the Hofbrauhaus Oktoberfest tent, on Saturday, September 22, 2012.




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10. Revelers celebrate Oktoberfest in a beer tent in Munich, on September 22, 2012.




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11. A woman from Lower Bavaria, dressed with traditional ceremonial Bavarian costume enjoys a beer after participating in the opening parade during day 2 of Oktoberfest 2012 in Munich, Germany.




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12. Visitors crowd the Oktoberfest beer festival, seen from Bavaria hill, on September 22, 2012.




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13. Festival-goers on a carnival ride at the 179th Oktoberfest in Munich, on September 23, 2012.




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14. Oktoberfest visitors have a rest, on Sunday, September 23, 2012 in Munich.




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15. Revelers, dressed in traditional Bavarian clothes, celebrate in the Schottenhamel beer tent during day 2 of Oktoberfest 2012, in Munich, Germany.




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16. Traditionally dressed Bavarian men raise their steins and enjoy a sunny day of the famous Bavarian Oktoberfest, on September 25, 2012.




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17. A man prepares Gingerbread hearts at the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, on September 25, 2012.




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18. Oktoberfest visitors on a carnival ride during Oktoberfest 2012, on September 22, 2012.




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19. Revelers have a break from drinking during Oktoberfest, on September 22, 2012.




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20. An overview from the St Peter church tower shows the festival area of Oktoberfest at the Theresienwiese in Munich, on September 22, 2012.




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21. People are attracted by a luminous carnival ride in the evening of day 1 of Oktoberfest, on September 22, 2012.




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22. A young woman sells pretzels in the Augustiner beer tent at the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, on September 23, 2012.




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23. A waitress carries grilled chicken in a beer tent during the opening day of the Oktoberfest 2012 beer festival, on September 22, 2012.




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24. A festival-goer lies in the grass during Oktoberfest 2012, on September 22, 2012.




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25. A boy stands in traditional costume at the Theresienwiese, during Oktoberfest 2012, on September 23, 2012.




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26. Polish girls, dressed in traditional Polish costumes enjoy a beer after participating in the opening parade of the Oktoberfest beer festival, on September 22, 2012.




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27. A visitor wears a hat decorated with hops during the opening day of Oktoberfest 2012, on September 22, 2012.




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28. The giant ferris wheel is reflected in the glasses of a young woman during day 2 of Oktoberfest 2012 in Munich, Germany.




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29. Visitors to the 179th Oktoberfest take a rest on September 23, 2012.




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30. Visitors raise an Oktoberfest toast on September 22, 2012.




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31. Revelers gather in a beer tent during the 179th Oktoberfest, on September 23, 2012.




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32. A waitress carries beer mugs during day 1 of the Oktoberfest beer festival in the Hofbrauhaus beer tent on September 22, 2012.




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33. A man stands with an empty beer mug in a tent during Oktoberfest 2012 in Munich, Germany, on September 25, 2012.




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34. A full Masskrug is lifted above the Oktoberfest crowd in the Hofbrauhaus beer tent, on September 22, 2012.