Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas! Enjoy some of the world's most beautiful Christkindlmarkts (Christmas markets)

A Christmas market, also known as Christkindlmarkt, Marché de Noël, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, and Weihnachtsmarkt, is a street market associated with the celebration of Christmas during the four weeks of Advent. These markets originated in Germany, Austria, South Tyrol in Northern Italy and the eastern French regions of Alsace, Lorraine and Savoy.

The history of Christmas markets goes back to the Late Middle Ages in the German-speaking part of Europe and in many parts of the former Holy Roman Empire that includes many eastern regions of France and Switzerland. Dresden's Strietzelmart was first held in 1434. The Christmas markets of Bautzen (first held in 1384), Frankfurt (first mentioned in 1393) and Munich (1310) Augsburg (1498) were even older. The Vienna "December market" was a kind of forerunner of the Christmas market and dates back to 1294.

In many towns in Germany and Austria, Advent is usually ushered in with the opening of the Christmas market or "Weihnachtsmarkt". In southern Germany and Austria it is sometimes called a "Christkind(e)l(s)markt" (German language, literally meaning "Christ child market"). Generally held in the town square and adjacent pedestrian zones, the market sells food, drink, and seasonal items from open-air stalls, accompanied by traditional singing and dancing. On opening nights (and in some towns more often) onlookers welcome the "Christkind" (originally boy Jesus, but more often depicted as an angel-like girl), acted out by a local child.

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Strasbourg, France
The oldest Christmas market of Europe (1570)

Dresden, Germany
11 completely different Christmas markets in one city!
Verona, Italy
Buon Natale!
Basel, Switzerland
One of the prettiest and largest Christmas markets of Switzerland
Vienna, Austria
Birmingham, England
The largest outdoor Christmas Market in the United Kingdom
Christmas, Scandinavian Style
Barcelona, Spain
Toronto, Canada
Santa Lane, home of Rudolph the Reindeer Zoo, and a fairytale forest maze complete this Christmas market


Do They Know It's Christmas, Band Aid

Need a Little Christmas, Johnny Mathis

Little Drummer Boy, Vienna Boys Choir

All I Want for Christmas Is You, Mariah Carey

Silent Night, Stevie Nicks


Anonymous said...

Would I love to up and travel to any of these markets. We have several which aren't as awesome as those in Europe, but they bring added magic.

Merry Christmas Petra!

Love, K. :)

Ron said...

Beautiful selection of Christmas markets from around the world, Petra! Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

And I also loved your varied selection of Christmas songs!

Little Drummer Boy was my favorite!

Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed and joyous Christmas, dear friend!

X and cheers!

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

I can only imagine, K.! I have yet to visit any which are anywhere near the excitement and beauty of the European markets.

Had stollen Christmas morning. A German tradition. I think it's also very popular during the Jewish holidays.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, K. :))

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Aren't they, Ron?! Wish we had more like them in the States.

I just love music. My posts/days wouldn't be complete without it.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Ron! :))