One of the things I was most looking forward to about Germany was the Christmas markets, or Weihnachtsmärkte. Needless to say, I was beyond excited to go when they opened in my host town. As of this blog post, I’ve already gone four times, but they’re so amazing that it hasn’t gotten old yet!
Christmas markets are filled with little booths selling crafts, food, and presents. Lots of things are handmade, and I love seeing the intricate little honey candle sculptures or the olive tree kitchenware. There are tiny ornaments carved out of wood and even chocolate shaped to look like tools. It’s a great place to buy unique gifts for Christmas, and it’s so cool to see all of the different handcrafts!
Of course, the food is also amazing! You can get bread, sausage, and cheese, but also roasted nuts and soup. One of the traditional German cookies is called Lebkuchen, and there are stands with frosted Lebkuchen hanging from strings. They come in all shapes and sizes with different frosting inscriptions. You can also buy donuts, waffles, and candied fruit. Honestly, every food stand has something that looks delicious.
As you walk through the Christmas market eating a Lebkuchen and admiring the crafts, string lights connect the roofs of the stands and light up the way at night. In the center of the Christmas market in my host town, there is a huge tent of string lights. Yellow sparkling Christmas trees guard the entrance of the market, and you can always hear a Christmas song coming from somewhere. You can smell all of the foods, and although it’s crowded, there’s a sense that no one is in a rush to go anywhere. It all creates a truly festive atmosphere!
It’s not very often that something turns out better than you had imagined, but the Christmas markets are definitely better than I expected. I love the tradition, and I think it’s the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit!