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Year-round Festivals Series 44 – Advent and the start of the Christmas markets! 

As December approaches, the Christmas atmosphere in the city starts to grow more intense. Many people choose to travel to Europe to experience the snowy winter weather and a very different Christmas atmosphere from Asia!

Have you ever visited a Christmas market in a European town? Christmas markets are held in European towns and cities from 1 December until Christmas Eve.

Christmas is a time for family reunion in Europe, just like the Chinese Winter Feast or the Chinese New Year. The Christmas market that ends on Christmas Eve also reminds me of the flower market in Hong Kong that ends on the night of the 30th day of the Lunar New Year. The two markets are also convenient for people to do shopping before the family reunion, not only for food, but also for decorative items for the home.

The earliest Christmas market dates back to the late Middle Ages in German-speaking Europe. Christmas markets can be linked to the celebration of Advent, a four-week Christian festival, and have become a popular custom throughout Europe and the United States.

In Germany, Switzerland and Austria, the beginning of the Christmas markets also symbolises the arrival of Advent. Christmas markets are usually held in the city centre, selling food, drink and seasonal goods, accompanied by singing and dancing.

The world’s first Christmas market was the Striezelmarkt in Dresden, Germany, first held in 1434. Nowadays, the world’s first Christmas market has grown to a very large scale. The vast city centre with 240 Christmas stalls attracts more than two million visitors from all over the world. The large Christmas markets in Frankfurt and Stuttgart also attract three million visitors a year.

The most fascinating things to see at a Christmas market are the exquisite handmade artisan carvings, the farmer’s meats and the wide range of sausages and game. Popular attractions such as nativity scenes and stalls selling nutcracker carvings, roasted almonds, traditional Christmas gingerbread and mulled wine are the highlights of the market! 

Drinking hot red wine in the snowy sub-zero temperatures is one of my fondest memories of my time studying in East Germany!

#YearroundFestivalSeries #Advent #ChristmasMarket

 

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✍🏼 Write + Create 

◢ Elva Lai enjoys creating art, reading, travelling, hiking and making a cup of coffee in the morning. She received her education in Singapore, the United States, Germany and Hong Kong.
FB: Light House Studio  IG: thisiselva_art
Website: www.thisiselva.com

Authorised for re-posting. Opinions are solely those of the author.

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