It’s finally December; days are getting shorter, the air is getting colder, and in some places snow is starting to fall already. With all of this it also means just one thing; Christmas is right around the corner! And with Christmas only weeks away Weihnachtsmarkts (Christmas Markets) in Germany are already in full swing.
Weihnachmarkts in Germany have a very long history, dating back to the late Middle Ages. The oldest “official” Christmas Market is Dresden’s Striezelmarkt, which began in 1434. However, even older “December Markets” predate even that; Frankfurt in 1393, Bautzen in 1384, Munich in 1310, and in Vienna accounts go all the way back to 1298! Each of these Markets has its own unique variations on Christmas traditions and each one is worth a visit.
At these Markets there are many popular traditions that draw visitors each year. On cold winter nights, one of the more popular attractions is definitely the food and drinks; especially hot Glühwein (mulled wine). Other Christmas Market treats include hot chocolate, reibekuchen (potato cakes), maronen (roasted chestnuts), candied almonds, bratwurst, and many others.
Another attraction is that Christmas markets are also basically fairs; with amusement rides, light shows, and usually large Ferris Wheels. Considering that around this time of year in Germany the sun sets around 4pm, these light shows are definitely an uplifting sight. Bringing cheer into what can otherwise be a gloomy time of year. Also in addition to all these attractions there are numerous shops where you can buy all sorts of gifts and specialty items.
Most Popular Cities
Although each Christmas Market, whether big or small, has its own unique charm, there are several cities across Germany that have reputations for being “the best”. Each of the 4 largest cities in Germany has numerous large Christmas Markets that are worth a visit. In Cologne there is a Christmas Market directly outside their iconic cathedral which is very popular in particular. Definitely a great spot to take some pictures.
In addition to these 4 there is also a very large Christmas Market in Dortmund NRW which hosts “the largest Christmas tree in the world” at 45 meters high, weighing 40,000 kg, and holding 50,000 light, lamps, and ornaments! In reality, it is actually 1,700 individual Christmas trees constructed together to make this “Christmas tree”. It is still a sight worth seeing and is also surrounded by a huge Christmas Market which includes theme rides and a huge Ferris Wheel. Definitely worth a visit if you have the chance!
For More Information
We hope that you will have the chance to enjoy one of these great Christmas Markets this holiday season. But if you don’t get a chance this year, there is plenty of time to make plans already for next year! And if you are looking for crews to help set up your next event please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether its for a small Christmas stand or for a large concert or conference we have the experience and skills needed to make your event a success. To learn more visit our website at stagehands.net or if you are looking for more information on these Christmas Markets check out the following websites happytowander.com/dortmund-christmas-market-guide/, www.wanderlust.co.uk.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you from all of us here at Stagehands!
Photo Credit- Daniel Lewis