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Christmas Market

Christmas

Christmas Market

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Christmas markets have recently started to appear in French cities (here, Toulouse).
Christmas markets have recently started to appear in French cities (here, Toulouse).

In many towns in Germany and in Austria, Advent is usually ushered in with the opening of the town's Christmas Market or Weihnachtsmarkt, often also called Christkindlmarkt or Christkindelsmarkt (Ger. literally, Christ child market). Generally held in the town square and pedestrian zones, the market combines food and drink in the open air, shopping and pageantry as well as tradition. On opening night and, in some towns, every night, onlookers welcome the Christkind, or Christ child, in the form of a golden-haired angel played by a local youth.

Some of the most popular items at the Market are the Nativity Scene (also known as a crèche or crib); Zwetschgamännla (figures made of decorated dried plums); Nussknacker (carved Nutcrackers); Gebrannte Mandeln or candied, toasted almonds; assorted cookies like Lebkuchen and Magenbrot (both forms of soft gingerbread); Christstollen or Stollen, a sort of egg bread with candied fruit; and not least, Glühwein, hot mulled wine (with or without a shot of brandy) to keep the body going in the cold winter air. Many other homemade crafts and toys, books, and (in recent years) more or less useful gadgets can be found at a Christkindlmarkt.

The most famous Christmas markets are held in the cities of Nuremberg, Dresden, and Stuttgart, making them very popular tourist stops. The Nuremberg and Dresden markets draw each year about two million, the Stuttgart market attracts more than three million visitors. Other well known markets are held in Cologne, Bonn, Lübeck and Vienna, Salzburg and Villach.

German immigrants to America brought the Christmas celebrations with them, and there are some Christkindlmarkt events held in the United States as well. Two examples are the Chicago Christkindl Market and the Denver Christkindl Market.

A large Christmas market is held in Birmingham, England, with visiting traders from its twin city of Frankfurt. The market claims to be the biggest German Christmas market outside Germany and Austria with over 75 stalls in 2006.

A large directory of Christmas Markets (a UK first) has been launched at christmasmarkets.com

See also

External links


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Christmas Guide, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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