Christmas Markets and Winter Fun
For me it finally feels like Christmas is almost here when we get a chance to visit one of the Christmas markets in my home country Germany. In some ways, whilst the traditions of Christmas across the world are varied, many that these days we internationally recognise as part of the season have evolved from some of the Germanic seasonal traditions. For example the decoration of a pine tree was something that Germany exported to both the UK and US, and now much of the world. It is perhaps surprising to learn that trees only became popular in the 1800’s in London after Prince Albert introduced one to Queen Victoria for Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. Likewise Christmas markets are a tradition that is being repeated across the world more and more.
Gifts and Toys
Who can’t love the smells and tastes of the traditional markets in the run up to Christmas. In a prior year we sampled the delights of Vienna, but this year I headed for one nearer my home town. We love to wander round the craft stalls looking at their wares, from the decorations and candles, lanterns, nutcrackers cake and biscuit cutters, wooden toys and more. It is a great way to pick up last minute or special gifts.
Christmas Tree and Lights
Children and adults alike also love the giant Christmas tree that every market has, the twinkling lights and naturally a ride on the carousel.
Of course, no trip to the market is complete without imbibing Glühwein – mulled wine if you prefer the english version – or for the little ones a mulled juice “Kinder” punch. Sipping the spicy drinks while listening to the band playing Christmas tunes or wandering past the stalls is a treat. If you add snacking on the wonderful flavours of the festive fare from the food stands the evening is complete. From fresh cooked Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), to Flammkuchen (an Alascian region thin pizza like savoury snack), Lebkuchen (german Christmas cinnamon gingerbread), Stollen, chocolates, and more – it is bound to create the kind of memories I have from Christmas past.
Fun in the Snow!
After all that food in the markets what better way to work off the energy and build up an appetite for the main event than some fun in the snow. Thankfully this year snow came early to much of central Europe and it means we could indulge in some sledging in the hills. Pulling the sledge up to the top for a fast run down has to be the best fun ever…..well until the present opening of course!
Wishing all my followers and readers a wonderful festive season, a fantastic Christmas break, and a successful 2018.