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Bavaria (German: Bayern), with an area 27,241 square miles and almost 12.5 million inhabitants, lies in the southeast of Germany and is the geographically largest state (Bundesland) of Germany. Its capital is Munich. About 6.4 million of its population are Bavarian, 4.1 million Franconian and 1.8 million Swabian.

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 liter (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. This Bavarian beer guzzling event lasts for two weeks -- the last day being the first Sunday in October. Tourists come from around the world to attend it.

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