DIE WELT (Germany)

Worldcrunch

MUNICH - Some seven million people are expected to turn up for Oktoberfest in the southern German city of Munich. What has been the world’s biggest popular fete since 1810 kicked off Saturday in the Schottenhamel beer tent, the oldest party tent on the Theresienwiese fairgrounds.

Die Welt asked Christian Schottenhamel, 49, who runs the tent with his cousin Michael F. Schottenhamel, to give some Oktoberfest pointers:

What to wear. Lederhosen for men, dirndls for women. And Achtung!: no tennis with the Hosen, no mini-dirndls. Such no-nos, like showing up over-dressed, go against local tradition.

Food and drink (and drink). A liter of beer (called a Wiesn-Maß) and the chicken called Wiesn-Hendl. Pork dishes like Schweinshaxe and Schweinebraten, or a beef Sauerbraten, are also favorites. And roasted almonds, cotton candy, and candied fruit. 

Hangover management. Have a good solid meal before you start the day's drinking. Avoid mixing beer, wine and schnapps. Also know that while Oktoberfest beer is stronger, it has to be brewed according to Bavarian Beer Purity Laws, so it’s quality stuff. 

Souvenirs. Gingerbread (Lebkuchen) shaped like hearts.

For the kids. There's a toboggan ride, with its wooden spiral tower – an Oktoberfest tradition since 1933, as well as a Ferris wheel. From up there, the giant beers down below look just a bit smaller...

The Schottenhamel Zelt (tent) seats 4,000 inside, and has a total of 10,000 seats. This year a Maß costs €9.50 and half a Hendl €9.95. For reservations call 089/54 46 93 10, www.schottenhamel.de