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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So it’s approaching that time of year, in Europe anyway where Christmas markets start appearing. These markets based on the traditional Christmas markets of Germany, turn what would otherwise be empty, sterile public squares and spaces into bustling markets full of freshly made hot food and local produce. As well as providing small retailers and local /international craftspeople a chance to sell to a larger audience

Manchesters own Christmas market is still new only being around 10 years old and is spread across 6 squares and pedestrianized streets as well as the traditional German fair it has a French market and local craft markets. It’s hugely popular and managed to pull in over 67,000 visitors to just the main market in Albert square on its opening Saturday last weekend. Anyway you look at it that’s a lot of Bratwurst.

So I was wondering how well spread these markets are and what regional differences there are between them?
 

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spaghetti polonaise
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There are also some christmas markets in Poland nowadays. The one in Wroclaw will open next weekend and takes about half of the central "Rynek" (Market square) and prolongs into Swidnicka street. Wroclaw's market square is the 2nd biggest in Poland. The christmas market consists for a large part of booths from Dresden. They even have all the writings in German. Only the tables with the pricetags are in Polish. About regional specialty which is usually not to be found on christmas markets in (Northern) Germany: Hot beer with spices.


And regarding christmas markets in Hamburg: There are in total no less than six separate christmas markets in the central shopping streets and squares!
 

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Austria didn't copy the markets from Germany, they rather developed parallel during the middle ages. Vienna has some form of winter market since the 13th century and similar markets to christmas markets since the early 17th century.

Today the centre is full of various Christkindlmärkte with different concepts. The focus of the various markets differs. The largest and IMO least interesting one is at the Rathaus, which is really only great for the setting and the surrounding park. The best markets might be the very traditionally small one at the Freyung, the more artsy one at the Spittelberg and the young student influenced one at the old AKH.

Small markets are also found in various more peripheral districts.
 

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Metro Manila

Here is one in Greenhills located in San Juan.

photos by various photographers.





 

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spaghetti polonaise
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That sounds brutal. I'd love to know how it tastes. Is it still carbonized? warm carbonized drinks taste very very weird usually and beer without CO2 tastes equally weird. Now you got me being curious.
I haven't tried it yet. I only considered hot beer as an awfully tasting cure against a cold.

It seems that the christmas market in Wroclaw will be bigger than last year. At least there will be more decoration. And one difference to common christmas markets: There will not be the Santa Claus handing out presents to kids on the market, but Wroclaw gnomes. (The city's tourist board is using gnomes as mascots. The story behind those gnomes is - as far as I know - that a group of dissidents in Wroclaw expressed their opposition to the military junta in the 80s by stating totally absurd opinions while wearing gnome costumes).
 

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Yeah,As the first one already mentioned the Nuremberg (Nürnberg) Christmas Market is the most popular one in Germany. On the Schloss Square there is even a lovely Xmas Market especially for children your age with a miniature steam locomotion, a ferris wheel, and carrousel. You also can let your kids make own xmas cookies and candles. There's also an ice rink where you can go ice skating. Eateries are located everywhere so you certainly won't starve either. And if you're lucky you also will find Santa....
 

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Short dokumentary report by BBC about booming German Christmas markets in the UK:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15832885

For me nothing's better or more festive than German Weihnachtsmärkte oder Christkindlsmärkte. :)

Here in my city, each year many thousands of French, Luxembourgers, Belgians and Dutch come to see our Weihnachtsmarkt. :)
Pic of Trier from a swiss travel agency website:

http://gerber-reisen.ch
 

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^^ I wonder why it is that it has been in the last 10-20 years in particular that such Christmas markets have started gaining so much popularity not in the UK, US, and some even some other European non-German nations. It isn't like these other places haven't had +400 years to try out the model.
 

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Maybe because Germany was for a long time not really regarded as an international tourist destination, so not many non-germans knew about this tradition and told about it. Also the invention of the Internet surely helped making christmas markets more popular abroad.
 

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I haven't tried it yet. I only considered hot beer as an awfully tasting cure against a cold.

It seems that the christmas market in Wroclaw will be bigger than last year. At least there will be more decoration. And one difference to common christmas markets: There will not be the Santa Claus handing out presents to kids on the market, but Wroclaw gnomes. (The city's tourist board is using gnomes as mascots. The story behind those gnomes is - as far as I know - that a group of dissidents in Wroclaw expressed their opposition to the military junta in the 80s by stating totally absurd opinions while wearing gnome costumes).
Is that hot beer a thing that can be only found in Wroclaw at these markets or do they serve it also in other places or other seasons?

It is very funny to have gnomes in fact. Traditional Christkindlmärkte in Vienna also don't feature Santa Claus but the "Christkind", what a surprise ;) The other markets often have a mix of "Weihnachtsmann" (ie Santa Claus) and "Christkind" kitsch.
 

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^^ I wonder why it is that it has been in the last 10-20 years in particular that such Christmas markets have started gaining so much popularity not in the UK, US, and some even some other European non-German nations. It isn't like these other places haven't had +400 years to try out the model.
I think it is also because they have gained popularity within Germany and Austria as well. Moreover these markets are a welcome tool of bringing live to streets downtown in an otherwise dark and cold season. Urban renewal authorities obviously love that idea.

Btw, about the Christkindlmarkt in Birmingham. I find it interesting that it is actually largely German run. I would expect that in most cities they are run by locals.
 

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Austria didn't copy the markets from Germany, they rather developed parallel during the middle ages. Vienna has some form of winter market since the 13th century and similar markets to christmas markets since the early 17th century.
Thats a weird way to put it. Even within todays Germany, different cities develoepd their own chritmas market tradtion independent of other german cities. There is no such thing as Austria here and Germany there.
 

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Slartibartfas said:
Btw, about the Christkindlmarkt in Birmingham. I find it interesting that it is actually largely German run. I would expect that in most cities they are run by locals.
Lots of Germans, lots of Poles, a few locals especially on the non-german stalls, selling British food and drink, Jamaican and Indian food etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Btw, about the Christkindlmarkt in Birmingham. I find it interesting that it is actually largely German run. I would expect that in most cities they are run by locals.
The one in Manchester is run by a mix of Europeans (mostly German and French) and locals another thing people like is the mix of people from across Europe these markets bring.
 
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