So guess what time of year it is? That’s right, it’s Christmas time, and with Christmas fastly approaching, if you’re in Germany, then you will notice several Weihnachtmärkt (Christmas Markets) popping up. The average American is probably asking; “what is a Christmas Market?” Simply put, Christmas markets are what they sound like. The markets have always opened at the beginning of German Advent. They are places where traditionally the town or the village would meet and set up stands to sell christmas based arts, food and drinks.
Traditionally the vendors sell carved nut crackers, roasted almonds, gingerbread, bratwursts and, of course Glühwein. Glühwein is basically wine that is served hot and sometimes served with a shot of Brandy, to add some more holiday warmth to the mixture. If you want more information on Glühwein, read Astrid’s post. Along with the food and drinks the vendors sell, they also sell hand crafted Christmas ornaments, nativity scenes and nut crackers.
Weihnachtsärkte first appeared in Dresden, Germany in 1434. Since then Weihnachtsmarkt’s have popped up all over the world including markets in London, Chicago, Brazil, Romania and even in Hermann Mo. However, the largest and most successful markets are still in Germany. While looking around, I found this blog about multiple Weihnachtsmärkte in Germany. They also talk about the experiences they’ve had with Glühwein, and other German Wiehnachtsmarkt traditions.
I personally haven’t ever been to a true German Weihnachtsmarkt but I did ask a friend from Germany about them. His family is traditionally from northern Berlin, and in their little “village” they always held a giant Weihnachtmarkt in the center square. Every year his family was in charge of making the Glühwein for the festival. “It was always a fun time with family and friends and when it got too cold outside Glühwein always helped warm everyone’s spirits'” Sebastian K. I think that if Weihnachtmarkts were closer to me, I would happily attend them, however driving an hour to Hermann kind of ruins the holiday mood for me.
For more on Weihnachtmarkt watch this Video.