I did a guest post over at the lovely Marcia Richard’s blog on the History of Christmas in Europe. Here’s just a taste of what I write about:

In many towns in Germany and Austria, Advent (coming of Christmas) is usually ushered in with the opening of the Christmas market or “Weihnachtsmarkt”. In southern Germany and Austria it is sometimes called a “Christkindelsmarkt” (in German means “Christ child market”).

The markets are generally held in the town square and pedestrian zones, which makes it even more festive. I know the farmers markets in my hometown in Canada are held in the massive parking lots of grocery stores. You just can’t beat the feeling of wandering through a small village made of wooden stalls, covered in Christmas decorations and exuding the smoke of the grills cooking Bratwurst sausages, the sweet smell of “Christstollen” – an egg bread with candied fruit – the spices of hot mulled wine (Glühwein) or even the perfumes of fancy soaps.

To read the full post, please visit Marcia Richard’s blog here.

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