Christmas Markets in Germany

Categories: Family and Kids, Sightseeing, Cultural and History, Shopping, Dining

Christmas Markets in Germany
Christmas Markets in Germany

[ source: Wikipedia]

Every country has unique Christmas traditions that bring color and joy to the holiday season. Germany offers a rich array of traditions and culinary delights, including Stollen, Spekulatius, Lebkuchen (Gingerbread), Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars), and Gluehwein (hot mulled wine). Not to be left off of any list of German Christmas delights are the Weihnachstmaerkte (Christmas markets). Numerous German cities and towns host Christmas markets with their sparkling array of booths and attractions during the Advent season (the approximately 4-week period prior to Christmas celebrated in the liturgical traditions of the Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches). In Germany, many people go to the Christmas markets with family members, friends, and co-workers every year. They are attracted by the bustling shopping scene, with its emphasis on traditional German wares (Christmas pyramids, wooden toys, candle arches, etc.), and to the array of foodstuffs that are synonymous with the Christmas season. Who would not look forward all year to a steaming mug of Gluehwein on a cold and snowy winter evening?

The website at www.weihnachtsmarkt-deutschland.de provides tips and information about the vast variety of Christmas markets in Germany. For example, did you know that although Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt is the most renowned Christmas market in Germany, it is not the oldest? That honor belongs to Dresden's Striezelmarkt! The Christmas markets emphasize the romantic and atmospheric elements to the urban landscape, and tourists will find these places to be the stuff of wintry fairy tales. Most American travelers would find a tour of various Christmas markets to be both unique and charmingly memorable. For anyone planning a trip to one or more Christmas markets, this website provides advice on gift ideas and other uniquely Christmas features, such as model trains. The website features a comprehensive list of most, if not all, German Christmas markets that will be hosted in 2012. This information is organized in two ways: by city and by state. To further aid in your trip-planning endeavors, a schedule of the dates of operation for all of the markets is provided. Lastly, the tradition of the Christmas market might be a beloved one in Germany, but it is not exclusive to this country. Descriptions of Christmas markets in Austria, France, Switzerland, England, Denmark, and the U.S. (!) can help one plan an international tour of these charming places. (Yes, who knew that Chicago is home to its very own Christmas market, organized by the German-American Chamber of Commerce, Chicago branch?)

If you can find a way, a trip to Germany during the Christmas season will build charming memories. A romantic stroll through a historic city center with a mug of Gluehwein in your hand is not something you will ever easily forget, nor want to.



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Bettina Kraft

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  Bettina Kraft.

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