Germany's world-famous Oktoberfest began in 1810 as a celebration of the marriage of Bavarian Prince Ludwig to his beloved Therese. Every year several huge tents with picnic tables are set up in Munich's Theresienwiese, or Therese's Meadow, where local residents and visitors from around the world throw back enormous quantities of beer and sausages.
Even though the festival is named for the month of October, Oktoberfest actually begins in September and runs for 16 days until the first Sunday in October.
Beer is Oktoberfest's main attraction. Several million liters are consumed every year at the affair. Normally reserved and decorous Germans let loose and have a rip-roaring good time. Some revelers, of course, have a wee bit too much fun. These unfortunate souls have earned their own nickname in German: Bierleichen, or "beer corpses."
It's not all about beer though. German food specialties are on full display too. Apart from a variety of Würste, or sausages, there is Backhendl (roast chicken), Schweinebraten (roast pork), Schweinshaxe (roast pork hocks), Steckerlfisch (grilled mackerel on a stick), Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), Rotkohl (braised red cabbage), Obazda (cheese spread), Kartoffelknödel (potato dumplings) and Wurstsalat (sausage salad).
So raise your Bierstein, declare "Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit!" and enjoy German food like the Germans do.