(Munich) The beer is flowing as millions of people descend on Munich, Germany, to celebrate the official opening of Oktoberfest.

With the traditional cry “O’zapft is”, which can be translated as “she is drawn (the beer)”, Mayor Dieter Reiter inserted the tap into the first keg at noon on Saturday, officially opening the 18 days of festivities.

Revelers dressed in traditional short “lederhosen” overalls and “dirndl” dresses gathered on the festival grounds in Bavaria’s capital on Saturday morning, filling dozens of traditional tents, waiting to receive their first mug of beer of one liter (two pints).

A few minutes before the first barrel was put into service, to the cheers of the crowd, Bavarian Governor Markus Soeder asked festival-goers if they were ready for the start of Oktoberfest.

“I can only say one thing: it’s the most beautiful, biggest and most important festival in the world,” he said.

Oktoberfest typically attracts around six million visitors each year. The event could not take place in 2020 and 2021, while authorities were dealing with COVID-19, but it returned in 2022.

A one-liter tankard this year costs between 12.60 euros and 14.90 euros ($18.16 to 21.48 Canadian dollars), an increase of about 6% compared to last year.

The 188th Oktoberfest runs through October 3.