While I don’t like to mention the “C” word before 1st December, this weekend sees the start of the festive shopping frenzy, and if you are heading in to your local town centre this Saturday, you will most probably be greeted with the sounds of jingle bells, the fragrant aroma of freshly brewed mulled wine, and the odd Ho Ho Ho!
Christmas comes but once a year, and while many of us would much rather spend the festive period sunning ourselves on Caribbean beaches, cycling somewhere warm and exotic, or heading off on a self-drive adventure in Australia or New Zealand, most of us ‘poor’ Europeans will be up to our armpits in frost and snow, eating roasted chestnuts, drinking Glühwein and shopping for handmade goods at the Christkindlmarkt!
Christmas Markets have long been tradition in Austria and Germany, and if you are looking for a little bit of festive cheer this December, you’ll find it in Nürnberg, Munich, Salzburg and Vienna, where they have the most magical winter wonderland displays and all the traditional German fare you could possibly wish for.
Christmas Markets or Weihnachtsmarkt can be found in most European and International cities too, so if you can’t get away to Austria or Germany, have a look in your home town this weekend, you may find that you have buckets of mulled wine right there on your doorstep!
Glühwein (potent but lovely!), Jägertea, Bratwurst, Pretzels and Lebkuchen (delicious gingerbread biscuits) are just some of the tasty treats that await you at a traditional German Christmas Market, and if you can draw yourself away from the food stalls, you might be able to snap up a few unique handmade Christmas gifts for family and friends.
Whether you like it or not, from tomorrow, Christmas is upon us, and if you can’t beat em’, you might as well join em’ with a little bit of festive cheer at your local Weihnachtsmarkt!