The German Christmas markets, an annual affair, open in the end of November and lasts until the end of 4-week long Advent. Choral music wafts through the nippy air of the winter until the last day of the market. A Christmas market, a street market originated in Germany, recreates the nativity scenes, and sells ornamentations for Christmas tree, traditional food, local arts and crafts, gifts and souvenirs, to name but a few.
The “Christmas Magic” Market (WeihnachtsZauber) on Gendarmenmarkt square in Berlin, one of the best Christmas markets in Berlin, showcases works of different genres such as stone and wood sculpture, carpentry, photography and painting. Visitors can watch artisans at work and buy handmade goods. It hosts fire swallowing, acrobatics, juggling, dance, and choral and classical music shows all 38 days to entertain the public. The market serves traditional cuisine, gourmet food, seasonal delicacies and exquisite snacks to reenergize visitors spent after browsing through the stalls.
The Dresden Striezelmarkt, the oldest Christmas market of Germany, is organized in Dresden every year. The market boasts the largest useable Christmas arch of the world that is over 5 meters tall and 13.5 meters wide. An assortment of local crafts, comprising carved wooden items from the Erzgebirge (mountain villages), pottery and blue printed items from Lusatia, Plauen’s hand-made lace and Pulsnitz’s gingerbread, is displayed in the market. Saxon dishes are served. Many children-specific activities have been planned for the 576th market that opened on November 25, 2010. A marry-go-round, bakery and train will be set up for children. A puppet theatre is held every day.
The Munich Christmas Market, started as Nicholas Market in the 14th century, is the oldest Christmas market of Munich. Live music, evoking spirit of Christmas, flows from the town hall balcony daily. Santa Claus interacts with children and grown-ups every day. The stalls stock the festival-specific ornaments, souvenirs, candles, toys, handicrafts etc. Another highlight of the market is the Bavarian food- ginger nuts, plum figurines, roasted almonds and baked apples. The Manger Market at Rindermarkt is an integral part of the Munich market held at Marienplatz square. The Manger market supplies gifts for the three Magi, fodder for donkey and ox, and the manger lantern required to recreate the nativity scenes.
Christkindlesmarkt on Hauptmarkt square in Nuremberg sells authentic bratwurst, fruit loaves and spicy gingerbread. Scores of wooden stalls, decorated with red-and-white cloth, offers candles, ornaments and angels for the Christmas tree, and other Christmas-specific items. The market, known as “Little Town from Wood and Cloth”, exhibits “Nuremberg Plum People”- small figures created from prunes.
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