Right now, Oktoberfest is taking place in this fair city. I went to the parade on the second day, which features people in historic costumes who have come from all over Bavaria and further afield. Before the parade, we were standing near this adorable little girl, whose sudden tantrum attracted the attention of a policeman nearby.
The Bavarian police are also very attractive:
Mounted police led the paradeA young girl dressed as the Münchner Kindl got a huge cheer from the crowd. She is holding a beer stein, but not a radish....
At the parade, participants have to wear "traditional" costume, but this varied from 16th to 20th century outfits. Before the official start, a couple of vintage emergency-service vehicles came through. There were groups representing villages, marching bands, villages that have marching bands, mounted bands, a marionette troupe, and various other community groups. There were also horse-drawn wagons from the different breweries, all garlanded with flowers. A hunting club came, bringing dogs and falcons - which was extremely cool. Several other groups demonstrated whip cracking tricks for the crowd. Later in the parade, there were the more industrial groups which included a float with decorative glass from a glassworks, and one on which a blacksmith was actually working a forge.
The Oktoberfest became a big international tourist event after the 1960s. The scale of the festival grew, and this kind of folkloric emphasis in the second parade looks like an attempt to recapture history - a dose of "good" heritage in a post-war Germany attempting to redefine its identity. Particularly for Munich, which had cause for some major introspection, this revival of Bavarian culture is a way of maintaining a positive image.