Six million visitors flock to Munich for the ultimate in beer celebrations It's the longest-running wedding reception in the world. Back in 1810 when Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese, a mammoth party was held in front of Munich's city gates. Such a good time was had by all that it was repeated in subsequent years, and Oktoberfest now ranks as one of the world's foremost celebrations of all things beery. Running for 16 days from late September to early October, the fest welcomes some six million visitors a year, who crowd into 14 specially built tents at Theresienwiese and manage to consume around 6 million litres of beer, 500,000 roast chickens and more than 250,000 sausages to the accompaniment of oompah bands and a fair few cries of 'prost'. The fest - known locally as Wies'n - kicks off with the brewers' parade on the first day, culminating with the lord mayor slamming a wooden tap into a cask of beer and calling out 'ozapft ist', which the assembled thirsty multitudes all know means 'it's tapped'. The following day a parade, led by a young girl on a horse and comprising thousands of exotically dressed performers from all over Europe, winds through the city centre, after which the action moves swiftly back to the beer tents. This year's Oktoberfest - the 175th - runs from September 20 to October 5, and given that it's the city's 850th anniversary, the celebrations are likely to be even more enthusiastic than usual.