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

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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.

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Visitors were anxious to get good positions for the festival's opening.

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Some attended in traditional Bavarian dress.

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The first barrel was tapped by Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter.

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The first beers were eagerly received by visitors.

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

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Marching bands are a feature of the festival.

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