Fun Facts: Christmas Markets Worldwide
Did you know that the very first Christmas market took place all the way back in 1298? Vienna is the lucky town where the December market first saw the light. How did this tradition spread around? Why do we still have Christmas markets nowadays?
It is since ancient times that these markets celebrated the four weeks of Advent preceding Christmas, creating anticipation and longing for the feast to come. Markets are characterized by numerous stalls selling food, handmade items and most of all decorations of any kind. They became more and more popular starting new traditions in places where Christmas markets where never held before.
Are they so popular because people want to celebrate Christmas for as long as possible? Let us look at few places where the most famous markets are held.
Nuremberg - The Christkindlesmarkt is at the heart of the city, decorating the Old Town with the most amazing Christmas ornaments. Mulled wine, sweet roasted almonds, Nuremberg sausages and gingerbread are a must here! There's a bit of everything for the entertainment of the grown-ups and the little ones.
Ludwigsburg - The Christmas market in Ludwigsburg's baroque square somehow has a magical touch to it. The two baroque churches are illuminated, making everything unique and special. Every day there is something on the program, both for children and adults. Most of all, this market is famous for its wonderful Christmas shopping experience.
Vienna, Schönbrunn Palace - As well as being Austria's most visited site, this palace hosts one of Vienna's finest Christmas markets. Here you can find hand-made Christmas decorations and nativity sets of any kind. Once there make sure you taste Vanillekipferl, a specialty of the place along with mulled wine.
Salzburg - The Salzburg Christmas market is among one of the oldest, going as far back as the 15th century. The market is located at the foot of the Hohensalzburg fortress and around the cathedral. It is possible to take part in numerous events, such as choral singing or playing wind instruments. Also, don't miss the nativity exhibits in the Residenz courtyard.
Leeds - In the beautiful Leeds Castle Christmas market, you'll have the chance to buy handmade decorations for your home, quality gifts, beautifully crafted traditional wreaths and festive garlands as well as locally produced fare, ideal for the Christmas dinner table. As a speciality this year on December weekends, children will be able to take part in a husky sleigh ride.
Lincoln - The Christmas Market lies in the medieval square between the impressive Norman castle and magnificent Gothic cathedral. Offering over 250 stalls, Lincoln Christmas market gives you the opportunity to enjoy cultural entertainment as well as hand made jewelry, hand-poured candles, wooden toys, hand painted glass, ceramics, photographs and locally created art, plus fabulous fresh produce from the local area.
Manchester - Manchester's award-winning Christmas market has more than 300 stalls across nine different areas in the city. It's a truly international market, with treats and trinkets from countries like Hungary, Holland, France, Spain and of course Germany and the UK. The market also has taken on an eco-friendly prjoect, by only offering glass and ceramic drinking glasses for mulled wine, hot chocolate and other drinks that visitors pay a deposit to use.
There are plenty more places to see and enjoy all around the world. Have you been to a special one and would like to share your experience with us? Please do so by leaving a comment below.