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There's always something going on in Munich. In addition to the myriad activities they can do on a daily basis, expats can expect plenty of annual festivals and events. Here are some recommendations for not-to-be-missed annual events.
Annual events in Munich
Fasching marks the period before Lent and is celebrated with parades, masked balls, street parties and elaborate costumes. The carnival season peaks on Shrove Tuesday when what seems like the whole city turns up at Viktualienmarkt in fancy dress costumes to eat, drink and dance the night away.
Munich Ballet Week (May)
This week-long festival showcases the talents of the globally recognised Bavarian State Ballet. They're joined by international guest ensembles, while modern and classic dance exhibitions are scheduled to wow spectators.
Munich Opera Festival (June)
The Opera Festival is the most important event of the city’s music calendar and it's been held every summer since 1876 in one of the world’s most beautiful opera houses, the Munich National Theatre. Enthusiasts from around the world gather to listen to the Bavarian State Opera with a programme of about 70 different performances. Two free open-air performances are also held in the square outside the opera house.
Oktoberfest in Munich is a two-week celebration that transforms the city into a joyous beer hall. Bavarian breweries set up massive makeshift beer gardens on the Theresienwiese meadow (the size of 20 football fields) and prepare themselves to engage in the revelry that tourists and locals have come to expect.
Munich Marathon (October)
Brave expats can join thousands of runners from across the globe to take part in the annual Munich Marathon. The 26.2-mile (42.2km) course sees participants huff their way through the Old Town, loop through the English Garden before high-tailing it to the Olympic Stadium for a spectacular finish. Those who aren't keen on running a marathon can still join the fun by cheering the runners on in the streets.
Christmas Markets (late November/December)
For many of its residents, December in Munich means just one thing: Christmas markets. These are a German institution and expats shouldn't miss the chance to drink warm and spicy Glühwein while searching the stalls for the perfect gift for their loved ones back home.