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

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visitors toast with beersImage source, 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.

Image source, Reuters
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Visitors were anxious to get good positions for the festival's opening.

Image source, Reuters

Some attended in traditional Bavarian dress.

Image source, Reuters

The first barrel was tapped by Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter.

Image source, Reuters

The first beers were eagerly received by visitors.

Image source, Reuters

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

Image source, EPA

Marching bands are a feature of the festival.

Image source, Reuters
Image source, Reuters
Image source, EPA

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