The beer starts flowing today in Munich's 181st Oktoberfest, which ends October 5.
Why is Oktoberfest called "Oktoberfest" when it really begins in September?
That's a frequently asked question on the website Oktoberfest.de.
And here's their answer:
The historical background: the first Oktoberfest was held in the year 1810 in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig's marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October 17 with a horse race. In the following years, the celebrations were repeated and, later, the festival was prolonged and moved to September.
By moving the festivities up, it allowed for better weather conditions. Because the September nights were warmer, the visitors were able to enjoy the gardens outside the tents and the stroll over "die Wiesen" or the fields much longer without feeling chilly. Historically, the last Oktoberfest weekend was in October and this tradition continues into present times.