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In pictures: Beer flows as Germany's Oktoberfest opens in Munich

visitors toast with beers Image copyright Reuters

The first beers have been served at the Oktoberfest beer festival in the German city of Munich.

About six million visitors are expected at the festival, which runs until 7 October.

Last year about 7.5m litres (1.6m gallons) were consumed during the event.

The festival began as a horse race staged to mark a royal wedding in 1810, with the first beer tents appearing later in the 19th Century.

Visitors run to get a spot at the Oktoberfest Image copyright Reuters
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Visitors were anxious to get good positions for the festival's opening.

Visitor at Oktoberfest Image copyright Reuters

Some attended in traditional Bavarian dress.

Munich mayor Dieter Reiter prepares to tap the first barrel of beer Image copyright Reuters

The first barrel was tapped by Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter.

visitors drink beer Image copyright Reuters

The first beers were eagerly received by visitors.

Beers are served to the crowds by waitresses Image copyright Reuters

Waitresses distribute the beer to revellers in several massive beer tents.

marching bands feature at the event Image copyright EPA

Marching bands are a feature of the festival.

crowds drink beer Image copyright Reuters
visitors with beers Image copyright Reuters
drinkers at the Oktoberfest Image copyright EPA

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