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Prost! Beer Flows at Germany’s Oktoberfest

Six million visitors are expected to drink some 2 million gallons of beer at Munich's annual Oktoberfest.

Visitors celebrate in the Hofbrau tent on Sept. 24 in Munich.

The annual festival is known locally as the "Wiesn" because it is held on the Theresienwiese, an open space near the city center. The two-week celebration is attended by locals and tourists alike, many decked out in traditional lederhosen and dirndls.

ANDREAS? GEBERT / EPA

Visitors reach for one-liter glasses of free beer to kick off the 2016 Oktoberfest beer festival in the Paulaner tent on Sept. 17.

The festival was first held in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Theresa of Saxony. The festivities were repeated annually in October, but were later brought forward to start in September when the temperatures in Bavaria are usually warmer.

Joerg Koch / Getty Images

A young boy participates in the traditional costume and riflemen parade on the second day of Oktoberfest on Sept. 18. The world's largest beer festival runs until Oct. 3.

Matthias Schrader / AP

People ride a swing in front of St. Paul's church on Sept. 26.

Matthias Schrader / AP
Crowds enjoy the evening on Sept. 26. Matthias Schrader / AP
Visitors pose for a picture at the Hofbrau tent on Sept. 24. FELIX? HOERHAGER / EPA
People enjoy a swing ride on Sept. 26. Matthias Schrader / AP
Acrobats perform during the costume parade on Sept. 18. CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP - Getty Images
Visitors celebrate in the Hacker Pschorr tent on Sept. 24. ANDREAS? GEBERT / EPA
The ferris wheel spins on Sept. 22. CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP - Getty Images
People enjoy a fun slide on Sept. 20. Matthias Schrader / AP
A waitress is surrounded by visitors during the festival's opening on Sept. 17. Matthias Schrader / AP
A woman receives a kiss at a bratwurst stand on Sept. 17. Joerg Koch / Getty Images