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Oktoberfest starts two-week beer bash

09-21-2010 08:58 BJT

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Traditional holidays like the Mid-Autumn Festival here in China are echoed in other parts of the world as well.

One event in Munich, Germany, has been celebrated annually for over 200 years. It's the oft' imitated, never duplicated Oktoberfest, the biggest beer bash in the world.

The traditional Oktoberfest parade of horse-drawn carriages, brass bands and members of Bavarian gun clubs dressed in traditional costumes drew thousands of spectators in Munich on Sunday.

Some 8,600 people in colorful traditional costumes, musicians and riders made their way to the world's largest beer festival, which kicked off a day earlier. The parade stretched some seven kilometers long.

For the first time in its 200-year-old history, Oktoberfest organizers banned smoking inside the 14 large beer tents, meaning smokers have to walk outside to enjoy their habit. While some complain about the ban, some praise of it.

A visitor said, "I think the rule is good. Non-smokers can be protected. They don't need to inhale the second-hand smoke in the tent. Second-hand smoke is harmful to health."

The beer bash began after Munich's mayor Christian Ude tapped the first beer barrel on Saturday. Lederhosen and folks in dirndl dress are filling the 14 tents that can accommodate 100-thousand merrymakers.

The world's biggest beer festival will last until October 4th, and is expected to attract around 6-million beer drinkers.

The world's biggest beer festival will last until October 4th, and is expected to
attract around 6-million beer drinkers.

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