Christmas Stollen and Mulled Wine welcome in the festive Season
Увеличаване на снимка (© dpa) Munich celebrates its Christmas market, the Christkindlmarkt, on the market place beneath a splendid, almost 30-metre-tall Christmas tree with 2,500 candles. At the Printenmarkt in Aachen people are proud of their special cookies with the secret recipe. In Cologne the cathedral forms the impressive backdrop for the brightly decorated Christmas booths. The atmosphere is more contemplative in the small Middle Franconian town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber at the “Reiterlesmarkt” set between the picturesque Town hall and St Jakobs Church. It is regarded as one of the most charming Christmas markets in Germany.
The advent season is the time for Christmas markets in Germany. The centre of almost every German town and city has decorated booths selling mulled wine and seasonal gingerbread. The German National Tourist Office (DTZ) has registered 2,500 Christmas markets in the larger cities alone. The brilliantly lit Dresdner Striezelmarkt on the Old Market opens on November 25. Germany’s oldest Christmas market, with its 576-year-old tradition, takes its name from the famous Dresdner Christmas stollen, also known as “Striezel”. White and gold robes, long blond hair and a golden crown adorn the Nürnberger Christkind (photograph), the symbolic figure of Nuremberg’s famous Christkindlesmarkt which is one of Germany’s most internationally famous Christmas markets.
German Christmas markets are an export hit abroad, too, for instance in Great Britain. Bratwurst, mulled wine and Christmas stollen “made in Germany”: in Birmingham the Brits celebrate the biggest Christmas market outside Germany. The city’s pedestrian zone around Victoria Square and New Street are transformed into the “Frankfurt Christmas Market” with some 90 stalls and well over a million visitors. Since the premiere in 1997, the German twin city of Frankfurt am Main has created the magic of the Christmas market in the heart of the Midlands. But it’s not the only place. German Christmas market fever is infectious. There are similar celebrations with Printen, Christmas stollen and mulled wine in the British cities of Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh as well.