Prost! Oktoberfest in Munich

The world's largest beer festival takes over the Bavarian capital.

A carousel spins during the 178th Oktoberfest in Munich, an event that started in 1810. (There were no festivities during the two World Wars.) Felix Hoerhager / EPA
Millions were expected to attend Oktoberfest, which ended Oct. 3. Felix Hoerhager / EPA
Beer drinkers wield one-liter mugs at the opening of Oktoberfest in Munich on Sept. 17. The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 in honor of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig's marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The annual event was moved up to September to take advantage of better weather. Matthias Schrader / AP
A priest speaks during a church service at Oktoberfest in Munich. The mass was celebrated partly in memory of showmen, marketeers and 'Wiesn-Wirte' (Wiesn landlords). Frank Leonhardt / EPA
A chef grills sausages during a sausage inspection at Oktoberest. The inspection commission tested eight different sausages from different tents. Marc Mueller / EPA
Gabriele Weishaeupl tests a sausage during the sausage inspection at Oktoberest. Marc Mueller / EPA
People toast during the opening ceremony of Oktoberfest on Sept.17. Matthias Schrader / AP
A vendor waits for customers on a rainy day at Oktoberfest in Munich. Two days of heavy rain scaled down expectations at the world's biggest beer festival. Matthias Schrader / AP
Oktoberfest waitresses wait for customers during a rainy day in Munich. Michael Dalder / Reuters
Tables sit vacant inside one of the tents at Oktoberfest. Tobias Hase / EPA
People in traditional costumes dance during the Oktoberfest parade in Munich. Millions of beer drinkers from around the world typcally descend upon the Bavarian capital for the annual two-week event. Michaela Rehle / Reuters
Revelers celebrate in the Hacker-Pschorr beer tent during Oktoberfest at Theresienwiese in Munich. Johannes Simon / Getty Images
Three waitresses crouch beneath a piece of cardboard during a smoke break at Oktoberfest 2011. Tobias Hase / EPA
An Australian visitor, dressed in a traditional German costume, sleeps near a crowd waiting to enter a beer tent in Munich. Karl-Josef Hildenbrand / Zuma Press
A woman poses with a beer mug in the Hofbraeuhaus tent after the Sept. 17 opening of the famous Bavarian Oktoberfest beer festival. Matthias Schrader / AP
Visitors enjoy a ride on a merry-go-round in an amusement park in front of St. Paul's church during Oktoberfest. Matthias Schrader / AP
A mother and daughter ride the flying swings at Oktoberfest. Andreas Gebert / EPA
Men dressed in traditional Bavarian garments attend the opening day of the beer festival. Johannes Simon / Getty Images
People reach for a beer mug in the Hofbraeuhaus tent after the opening of Oktoberfest. Matthias Schrader / AP
A tourist shows off an Oktoberfest outfit inspired by traditional Bavarian dresses during opening day of the beer festival. Johannes Simon / Getty Images
A Ferris wheel affords some fresh air during the start of Oktoberfest. Matthias Schrader / AP
A barmaid hefts 12 mugs of beer to Oktoberfest guests. Andreas Gebert / EPA
Two visitors wear hats covered with hops. Alexandra Beier / Getty Images
Tens of thousands of revelers stroll at the Munich Oktoberfest on opening day. Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters
Visitors rest in a grassy area during Oktoberfest. Frank Leonhardt / EPA
Revelers wearing traditional Bavarian clothes embrace on the stairs of the St. Peter and Paul church after leaving the Oktoberfest celebration. Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters