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Munich Oktoberfest Webcam - Live Festival View

 Europe, Germany, Munich
 

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Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to early October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world's largest fair, with some six million people attending every year. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the Munich event.

The Munich Oktoberfest, traditionally, takes place during the sixteen days up to and including the first Sunday in October. In 1994, the schedule was modified in response to German reunification so that if the first Sunday in October falls on the 1st or 2nd, then the festival will go on until October 3 (German Unity Day). Thus, the festival is now 17 days when the 1st Sunday is October 2 and 18 days when it is October 1. The festival is held on an area named the Theresienwiese (field, or meadow, of Therese), often called dí Wiesn for short.

To keep the Oktoberfest, and especially the beer tents, friendly for older people and families, the concept of the "quiet Oktoberfest" was developed in 2005. Until 6:00 pm, the tents only play quiet music, for example traditional wind music. Only after that will Schlager and pop music be played, which had led to more violence in earlier years. The music played in the afternoon is limited to 85 decibels. With these measures, the organizers of the Oktoberfest were able to curb the over-the-top party mentality and preserve the traditional beer tent atmosphere.

Since 2005 the last traveling Enterprise ride of Germany, called Mondlift, is back on the Oktoberfest.

Starting in 2008, a new Bavarian law intended to ban smoking in all enclosed spaces that are open to the public, even at the Oktoberfest. Because of problems enforcing the anti-smoking law in the big tents there was an exception for the Oktoberfest 2008, although the sale of tobacco was not allowed. After heavy losses in the 2008 local elections with the smoke ban being a big issue in debates, the state's ruling party meanwhile implemented special exemptions to beer tents and small pubs. So, smoking in the tents is still legal, but the tents usually have non-smoking areas. The sale of tobacco in the tents is now legal, but it's abandoned by agreement.

2010 marks the 200th Anniversary of Oktoberfest.

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