Monday, December 10, 2012

Mix-Up Monday: Christmas Markets / Weihnachtsmarkt

Typical Glühwein mugs (these were ours in 2010)
There may be nowhere more beautiful to be for Christmas than Germany.

This country knows how to get into the spirit of things...even the weather covers the land with a coat of white to make sure you really know that the holiday season has arrived.

The most famous part of the Christmas season in Germany is the Christmas markets. Every city, town, and village has some type of Christmas market at some point during the holiday season. In large cities like Frankfurt, these markets begin toward the end of November and continue right up until Christmas.

A typical Christmas market has a mix of stalls. Some serve food (crepes, wurst, candied nuts) and some sell doohickeys (wooden toys, ornaments, hats and scarves, nut crackers). Every Christmas market has at least one stand selling Glühwein, translated into mulled wine, which just does not do it justice. Glühwein is not only an important tradition at Christmas markets, it is also the only way you can stay warm enough to withstand being outside for such long periods of time.

Glühwein comes in traditional mugs, often decorated with the name of the city and the year. You pay a small deposit on the mug and you can then choose to either get your money back at the end of the night or keep it is a souvenir.

We have already visited the Christmas market here in Frankfurt a few times and enjoyed a glass or two of Glühwein and some candied almonds.

The most famous Christmas market in the world is in Nuremberg.  It is the largest Christmas market there is, and although lovely (she has visited three different years), it does not offer anything different than a typical German Christmas market, just many repeats of similar booths.

Many other countries have followed in Germany's footsteps and now hold Christmas markets each year. London and Chicago are both cities known for their Christmas markets.

Everyone needs to visit a traditional Christmas market sometime during their life. No matter how big of a Scrooge your are, it will be sure to put you in the Christmas spirit!

We wish we could share more pictures with you from our time this year at the Christmas market. Frankfurt even has a Mexican booth serving burritos, nachos, and tacos! Unfortunately, we are having photo problems with this website again :( 

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