The Christmas markets go back to late middle ages sales fairs and – often one-day – markets that offered residents the chance to stockpile on meat and winter supplies at the start of the winter season. In the 14th century the customized emerged to allow craftsmen such as toy makers, basket makers or confectioners to develop stalls for the little things on the market that got the kids for Christmas; There were also stalls selling roasted chestnuts, nuts and almonds back then.
Christmas is generally celebrated in the household or with friends and with shared presents, called “Bescherung” (present offering). In German-speaking countries and some other countries, the present offering normally happens at night on December 24th and is viewed as the most exceptional part of Christmas. In English-speaking countries, it is customary to provide presents on the morning of Christmas Day. In the offering ritual, reference is made to legendary present bringers such as the Christ Kid or Santa Claus, a few of which are also played. Such rites, like the festival as a whole, serve to strengthen household relationships. Numerous nations associate other traditions of their own with Christmas.
In “Advent”, in some cases even in the days after Christmas, a Christmas market is held in many places. Depending upon the local custom, such a market is likewise called an “Adventmarkt” (Advent market) or in different German-speaking regions “Christkindmarkt” or “Christkindlesmarkt” (or “Christkindlemarkt”, “Christkindlmarkt”, “Christkindchesmarkt” ). There are also regional additions to names or complete proper names, for example the “Dresden Striezelmarkt” or the “Neubrandenburger Weberglockenmarkt”.
The variety of Christmas markets is evasive. In Germany alone, the figures differ in between 1500 and 3000, and the duration ranges from one day to a number of weeks. Unique items are provided at Christmas markets, such as handicrafts for Christmas designs and food. Numerous Christmas markets also use visitors rides, music, and efficiencies like nativity plays.
The Christmas traditions in the German-speaking area are known around the world, and there are Christmas markets based upon this model in lots of countries.
Watch out for our Christmas Gallery inside our Musical Advent Calendar!