Bavarians consider themselves as egalitarian and folksy. Their sociability can be experienced at the annual Oktoberfest, the world's largest beer festival welcoming around 6 million visitors every year, or in the famous beer gardens. Genuine traditional Bavarian beer gardens work on a BYO basis, i.e. patrons bring their own food and only buy beer from the brewery that runs the beer garden.
Food and drink
Bavarians tend to place a great value on food and drink. Bavarians also consume many items of food and drink which are unusual elsewhere in Germany; for example Weißwurst (“white sausage”). Beer in particular has always been regarded as a basic nutrient (Grundnahrungsmittel, or “the base foodstuff”). At folk festivals, beer is traditionally served by the litre (the so-called Maß). Bavarians are particularly proud of the traditional Reinheitsgebot, or purity law, initially established by the Duke of Bavaria in 1516. According to this law, only three ingredients were allowed in beer: water, barley, and hops. In 1906 the Reinheitsgebot made its way to German law, and remained a law in Germany until the EU struck it down recently as incompatible with the European common market. Bavarians are also known as some of the world's most beer-loving people with an average annual consumption of 170 liters per person. One other beer ingesting custom is the Oktoberfest, attended by tourists from around the world as well as locals. This Bavarian beer guzzling event lasts for two weeks, finishing on the first Sunday in October.