I was missing from the scene. You know why?
Hmm.. I was busy shopping!
Shall I tell you one secret now? More than Christmas, I look forward to Christmas markets. The liveliness in dull winter days is what makes them more attractive. Probably that is one of the reasons why I always try to escape every year to a country where these markets happen.
Christkindlmarkt, Marché de Noël, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, or Weihnachtsmarkt, by whatever name you call it, a Christmas market is all about the liveliness and joie de vivre to drive away the cold dull days ahead.
We all know that these famous street markets are associated with the celebration of Christmas during the four weeks of Advent but do you also know that the Philippines celebrates the longest Christmas season in the whole world? Four months! Can you beat it?
The origins of Christmas Market dates back to the ‘Nicholas Markets’ of 14th century. It is said that these markets originated in Germany and then spread to Austria, northern Italy and some parts of France. Today we have them in Poland, UK and many other European countries as well. German immigrants took the Christmas market celebrations to the United States and from there it spread to Philippines as well. In Philippines it starts from September and ends after December. When I was in the Philippines last month, I could see markets full of Christmas gifts and presents luring the customers.
Famous Christmas markets are held in the cities of Munich, Augsburg, Dresden, Erfurt, Frankfurt, Nuremberg and Stuttgart, making them popular tourist attractions during Christmas holiday season inviting more than three million visitors each year. Hundreds of stalls around a gigantic Christmas tree creation are surely not to be missed in Germany.
The most famous one is the Christmas market at the Marienplatz that is located in the heart of the city Munich. Here one can buy all kinds of traditional Bavarian and varieties of Christmas gifts, such as crib figurines, toys, marionettes, woodcarvings, bee wax candles, handmade toys and some exquisite glasswares from the Bavarian Forest. The aromas of hit chestnuts, hot mulled wine, grilled sausages and other tasty snacks, that fights off the freezing cold winter and further enhance the ambience of a ‘typical Christmas Market’.
Why do you think these markets were up for? The original purpose of Christmas markets were not to celebrate Christmas but to stock up for the long winters and to add a bit of light to the dark months!
In some countries, Christmas markets are such a success that they have become a major pull factor to increase trade and visitor numbers to towns and cities. Generally held in the town square, the market sells food, drink, and seasonal items from open-air stalls, not to talk about the traditional singing and dancing.
There are around 20 Christmas Markets located throughout the city of Munich, including a Medieval Christmas Market, a gay pink Christmas Market and even a Christmas Market with ice skating facilities at Munich’s International Airport ! Sad, I was at Munich airport in summers.
Do you also like these lively markets?
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