Germany’s annual Oktoberfest celebrations can finally return, following a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Wiesn will take place,” the head of the iconic Bavarian beer festival Clemens Baumgartner told reporters in Munich.
Mr Baumgartner used the local Munich colloquialism for the Oktoberfest which refers to the big lawn, or wiese, where the boozy celebrations take place.
He said the popular festival in the Bavarian capital will be held without any pandemic restrictions from September 17 to October 3 – Germany’s national day.
“It will take place like we know it from 2019, and not in any other way,” Mr Baumgaertner said.
The Oktoberfest, first held in 1810 in honour of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese, has been cancelled dozens of times during its more than 200-year history due to wars and pandemics.
In the years before the coronavirus outbreak, about six million revellers visited the celebrations annually, many of them dressed in traditional Bavarian garb – the women in dirndl dresses and the men in lederhosen, or knee-length leather trousers.
Some 487 breweries, restaurants, fish and meat grills, wine vendors and others will be present and opening hours will be even longer than in the past, with the first beer tents opening at 9am and closing at 10.30pm.
A one-litre mug of beer will cost between 12.60 and 13.80 euros ($18.40-$20.20) this year, an increase of about 15 per cent compared with 2019, according to the official Oktoberfest website.
Typical Bavarian dishes sold at the Oktoberfest will include specialties such as the ‘slaughter plate’ with blood and liver sausage and pork belly; pork roast with crackling, bread dumplings and sauerkraut; and slices of roasted ox or braised venison ragout with home-made spaetzle pasta