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The Munich Oktoberfest, the most famous Bavarian festival, was first held in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of the later king Ludwig I with Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Today it is inextricably associated with the litre-sized beer-glass known as the Masskrug, which also makes an excellent souvenir.

The historic games that are regularly held in some Bavarian towns have older roots. They usually relate to local events: the "Landshuter Hochzeit", for instance, is a re-enactment of the magnificent celebration in 1475 of the wedding between the Duke of Landshut's son Georg the Rich and Hedwig, daughter of the King of Poland.

Marksmen's festivals date back to the tradition of civic militia from the 15th century onwards. The different regional associations still meet up today for shooting contests. The mountain marksman tradition derives from the medieval home guard.