Ring in the springtime at the Frühlingsfest

Often referred to as the 'Little Sister' of the Oktoberfest, Munich's 'Frühlingsfest' runs from 20 April to 6 May 2012. There are more than one hundred stands offering games and food, as well as the rides that any Wies'n guest will immediately recognise. Though Friday's opening day was quite dreary with rain, the visitors during the first weekend enjoyed mostly beautiful weather.

The 'Riesenflohmarkt' (massive flea market) took place on Saturday 21 April and people were able to haggle for objects the way that it was done before the age of eBay. And the next day on the 22nd, there was the annual 'Oltimertreffen' in which classic car enthusiasts meet and admire each other's spruced up automobiles.

Tuesday (both 24 April and 1 May) is family day at the 'Frühlingsfest', which means that between noon and 7 pm there are reduced prices for children throughout the festival. And if you have held on to any old Deutschmarks, Mondays are when the former currency is accepted as payment.

Sunday 29 April is what is called the 'Historische Tag' where visitors dress in 'Trachten' (traditional Bavarian garb) and one can get a flavour of Bavarian history. On the final day of the festival (6 May), there is a 'Strassenkünstler Wettbewerb' in which acrobats, jesters and musicians compete for the visitors' approval. The last day ends with fireworks that can be heard from most anywhere in the city.

If you enjoy the rides and carnival games at the Oktoberfest, then the 'Frühlingsfest' might be perfect for you.

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