When in Germany, do as the Germans do.
OK, maybe that's not exactly how the saying goes, but beer drinkers planning to converge soon on the city of Munich are likely becoming increasingly intoxicated with anticipation for Oktoberfest 2016, which is right around the corner. But the annual celebration of sipping suds is somewhat of a misnomer, as it actually does not start in the month of October.
In order to make sure you properly pay homage to the beer gods in a timely fashion, read on to coordinate your schedule so you can be an active participant in the 2016 installment of Oktoberfest.
According to the official Oktoberfest website, the festivities begin Saturday at 12 noon local time in Munich, when the celebration's official opening ceremony is scheduled for. It is also when the mayor of Munich is expected to tap this year's first keg of official Oktoberfest beer, after which thirsty revelers who have likely not been waiting very patiently can get their first taste of the beloved brew.
On average, more than 6 million people attend the annual festivities to cement Oktoberfest's reputation as the largest celebration of beer in the world, according to the TODAY show's website. Beers cost more than 11 euros each, or slightly than $12, and Oktoberfest beer maids -- the waitresses who are traditionally decked out in their classic dirndl attire of a blouse, skirt and apron -- are known to carry up to a dozen extra large full steins of beer at once while serving patrons, one beer maid who worked at last year's Oktoberfest told Vice's Munchies website.
However, while Oktoberfest-goers are busy getting their drink on, Germany's security forces are expected to be very vigilant in the wake of a spate of shooting violence and terror attacks in the country this year, two of which were claimed by the Islamic State group. Because of that, those attending the annual carousal are forbidden from wearing backpacks or bringing large bags over concerns of "high abstract danger" at Oktoberfest, Fox News reported.
Despite the heightened state of alert in Germany, there has not been any actual threat of an impending attack for Oktoberfest, which is scheduled to run through Oct. 3.