Octoberfest Munich
Don't Miss The Festive Opening Parade

Every year millions of visitors anxiously await the opening of the Octoberfest Munich. Traditionally the very first barrel of beer is opened by the Mayor of Munich, this is called Anstich.

Mayor of Munich
Mayor Christian Ude on his way to open the Oktoberfest.

During the Anstich, the Mayor of Munich is accompanied by the Münchner Kindl (Munich child). Since the 13th century this monk dressed in a black cowl with yellow stripes has been the symbol on the coat-of-arms of Munich. Nowadays the monk has been replaced by a young girl.

Muenchner Kindl
Münchner Kindl preceding the festive Oktoberfest procession.

Before the Anstich, the opening parade, the traditional procession of the Breweries takes place. A ca. 5 km long course from Altstadtring to Theresienwiese is closed for traffic and all the owners of the big beer tents proceed with their carriages drawn by beer horses to the Theresienwiese.

Opening Parade and Costume Parade Oktoberfest auf einer größeren Karte anzeigen

Spatenbraeu Carriage drawn by six horses
Spatenbräu Carriage drawn by six horses.

The big horses used to work heavily in the beer breweries. Today most of the work is done by machines, but the workhorses are still here for tradition.

Beautifully decorated workhorse
Beautifully decorated workhorse from Käfers Wiesnschänke.

The carriages are brightly decorated and carry the most important ingredient of the Oktoberfest Munich: the beer in wooden barrels.

Löwenbräu Carriage with wooden beer barrels
Löwenbräu carriage with wooden beer barrels.

Most of the breweries use steel barrels now and carry the wooden ones only for decoration. The barrels in use at Theresienwiese are even bigger than the one below drawn by the horses.

Huge beer barrel drawn by two horses
Huge beer barrel drawn by two white horses

The most famous beer brewery is undoubtedly Hofbräu. You've probably heard about the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. Here is their carriage.

Hofbräu carriage drawn by four horses
Hofbräu carriage drawn by four horses.

And last but not least, the most important persons during the two weeks of Oktoberfest:
The Waitresses!
Always be friendly to your waitress, otherwise you might find yourself outside the beer tent, before even realizing it.

Schottenhamel carriage with the Oktoberfest waitresses
Schottenhamel carriage with the Oktoberfest waitresses.