Need to do some shopping for Christmas? Need to feel the Christmas soul? You should certainly visit a historical German tradition – Christmast Market!
What is a Christmas Market?
A Christmas market is a street market that held in many cities, towns and villages in many countries especially in Germany during the Christmas celebrations. These markets were originated in Germany and Austria and then spread to all over the world. During the Festive, Christmas markets attract many visitors with traditional arts and crafts, Christmas lights and decorations, Santa Claus dancing and entertaining the children.
In Christmas markets, there are all kinds of Christmas goods and gifts, especially traditional things such as crib figurines, toys, wood carvings, marionettes, candles and lambskin shoes. Delicious Christmas cookies such as Lebkuchen and Magenbrot and also Glühwein ( hot mulled wine), are some of the main highlights of these fantastic markets.
There are so many Christmas market throughout the world, so it is diffucult to choose where to go but the best solution is that you can choose the one in a city for some serious shopping and another one in a village or town for some small shopping in a warmer atmosphere.
Christmas Markets usually start in the last week of November and run through to Christmas Eve or a day or two before. They are usually open every day from 10am to about 8 or 9 pm.
The history of Christmas markets
The history of these markets goes back to the fifteenth century in Germany. The first markets used to last for a couple days and instead of today’s stands, traders laid their goods out in the streets.
In those days, each market only sold local delicacies and traditional products so that it remained faithful to its own particularities. Nowadays, markets offer the same function that they have for centuries but also richer in variety.
It is likely that Christmas markets drew more attention when religious reformer Martin Luther instituted new customs for Christmas. It was Luther who suggested that children receive presents from “the Christ child,” hence the name “Christkindlsmarkt,” a popular name for the Christmas Markets in Germany.
Usually taking place on the town square and adjacent pedestrian zones, Christkindlsmarkt sells food and drink from open-air stalls with other seasonal items and traditional singing and dancing. On opening nights, onlookers welcome the “Christkind”, or boy Jesus, acted out by a local child.
Christmas Markets around the world
Famous Xmas markets take place in the cities of Nuremberg, Dresden, Stuttgart and Augsburg in Germany. The Nuremberg and Dresden are said to be draw 2 million people each year and Stuttgart market attracts more than 3 million people.
There is a famous Christmas market, Christkindelsmarik, in Strasbourg, France. Large Christmas markets are also held in Leeds and Birmingham in England. Moreover,with German immigrations to the United States, Christmas markets are popular there too.