US tells Americans at Oktoberfest: Don’t become a ‘beer corpse’

(CNN) — The US Consulate in Munich has issued a survival guide for Americans hitting Oktoberfest — have a blast but don’t turn into a “beer corpse.”

And whatever you do, don’t smash a fellow reveler in the head with your beer stein.

“Hitting someone with a beer mug is an ‘assault with a deadly weapon’ and usually results in prison time,” says a guide to a safe and fun Oktoberfest from the American consulate in Munich.

Back to the “beer corpses” — that’s a translation from the German word “Bierleichen” and, the US advises, thieves and pickpockets are “always on the lookout” for those who have had a bit too much to drink and are vulnerable. With that in mind, the tips also caution against sleeping in a park if you can’t make it all the way home.

The way to prevent yourself from falling easy prey, the consulate says, is to remember that German beer is much stronger than American brews, especially when served in a traditional liter glass (which, the guide reminds Americans, shouldn’t be stolen from festival premises). That’s the same alcohol content as four 12-ounce American beers.

The wildly popular annual Oktoberfest, held this year from September 17 through October 3 in Munich, is expected to draw more than 6 million visitors from around the world.

Some of the consulate’s suggestions in its “Tips for a Fun & Safe Oktoberfest 2016” are routine — keep a close eye on valuables, know your way back to lodgings — while others are particular to the German festivities.

Wearing tracht, or traditional Bavarian dress, is not only highly encouraged, according to the guide, but also practical. Traditional dirndls — dresses with full skirts and waistbands common to Oktoberfest — can serve double-duty to keep valuables tucked away from sight in their “hidden pockets.”

“In the beer tents, you are allowed to stand on the benches and sing all you want. Join in the singing!” the guide says. “However, dancing on the tables is not allowed.”