I’m Dreaming of a German Christmas Market
The annual markets began in the 14th century
Christmas in Germany brings every Christmas card and folklore to life. From beautifully lit trees and hand painted ornaments; to wandering carolers, bundled up against the crisp night air, as fluffy white snowflakes fall.
Living in Germany for ten years, offered my family many unique opportunities to enjoy its culture. We all loved living in the quaint countryside of Bavaria and getting to know our neighbors, who made us feel right at home. Through the friendships we formed, we were able to experience many things as welcomed members of the community. Of all the celebrations, we enjoyed the Christmas Markets best. The annual markets began in the 14th century as a way for town’s people and villagers to buy supplies for the long, cold winters. Originally, vendors offered dried meats and preserved-food items, blankets, woolen clothing, boots and shoes.
Soon, a more festive atmosphere began. Handmade toys and painted ornaments were offered. Cookies, candy and other festive foods were added, and before long, the market became a cherished holiday tradition.
I can almost smell the bratwurst cooking
Christmas Markets are held in old town squares, on cobblestone streets in the shadows of Gothic cathedrals and castles, which adds to their old world charm. Starting the end of November, the Christmas Markets are open daily from 10:00 am - 10:00 pm, until Christmas Eve.
Some of the items you can find at today’s Christmas Market’s are beautiful hand carved, painted wooden ornaments, crèches, painted glass ornaments and handmade toys. A trip to the Christmas Market is not complete without trying some of the festive German specialties such as, grilled bratwurst; hot mulled wine or cider, gingerbread cookies, or roasted almonds and chestnuts.
Officially, there are 60 Christmas Markets held throughout Germany, from Cologne to Munich, but my favorite will always be the market in Nuremberg.
A word to the wise, if you plan on visiting these markets, dress warmly. One of the nuances of the Christmas Market is the cold winter weather, and occasional snow flurries, only adds to its alluring charm.
Yes, I can almost smell the bratwurst cooking and the gingerbread in the air.
- German food from GermanDeli.com
German food from GermanDeli.com
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