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  You are here: Home > China Travels News > Official Oktoberfest kicks off in Beijing
Updated: SEP 6, 2013  By: SplendidChinaTours.com

An Oktoberfest beer festival affiliated to the original version of the event kicked off in Beijing's Olympic Park on Friday, marking the first time an official Oktoberfest has been staged outside of Germany.

Since 1810, the original Munich Oktoberfest has been an extravaganza of all things beer and Bavaria, where drinkers quaff about 10 million liters of beer, and eat 600,000 roast chickens, 58,000 pork knuckles and 400,000 baked hams each year.

"Compared to brands in Beijing, German beer tastes lighter but sweeter. Roasted pork knuckle is my favorite food," said Zhang Borong, who celebrated his 22nd birthday at the festival along with 5,000 other locals and tourists.

"As a drink specially favored by Beijing residents, 90 liters of beer per person is consumed in Beijing every year. People in Beijing love drinking beer as much as Germans. Therefore, introducing the Munich Oktoberfest to Beijing builds a cultural bond between China and Germany while also enriching the taste buds of Chinese," said Zhou Maofei, director of the State-owned Culture Assets Supervision Administration Office of Beijing, one of the event's organizers along with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce, the Beijing Tourism Administration and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture

In the Olympic Park's "Munich Oktoberfest" tent, claimed as the world's largest single beer tent, beautiful waitresses in dirndl Bavarian costumes could be seen lifting as many as 10 steins of foaming beer while serving.

"It's no big deal. You just need to practice," said barmaid Claudia Stahl of her ability to carry 12 one-liter glasses, as many as a male waiter.

Besides the stunt of beautiful barmaids, bands from Munich will also dazzle the public with traditional Bavarian music throughout the two-week festival.

"Oktoberfest is all about food, drink and music," said Chris Linder, the bass player of band Crazy Bavarians.

Oktoberfest dates back to an occasion on which Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese organized a great horse race to celebrate their marriage on the Munich open space that was thereafter titled the Theresienwiese. It remains the site of the festival today.

While there is no longer a horse race associated with Oktoberfest, the the event still involves hordes of enthusiastic revellers swilling lager: a universal pursuit in which the drinking classes of Beijing freely indulge.

Source: CRI

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