A Brief History of Christmas Markets

It’s the time of the year in all across the Northern Europe, especially in Germany. The loveliness of choir singers engulfing the night with Christmas carols, the sound of children laughter and the good old aroma of thuringian sausages, gingerbread, gebrannte mandeln and many more.

It’s the Christmas Market, also known as Christkindlmarkt, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, Christkindlimarkt, and Weihnachtsmarkt, indicating the beginning of Advent. For centuries, Christmas Markets have been a part of many people’s lives from all across the Northern Europe and brought a touch of happiness, joy, light and color to the winter nights. But where did it all start?

The forerunner of Christmas Market went back to Vienna’s December Market in the middle ages in 1298 where the citizens were granted permission by Duke Albrecht I to hold a market for 14 days. Even though it was not associated with Christmas, it is believed to be the first market during Advent to impel the idea of Christmas Market in later years. However, Germany holds the first evidence of markets that were associated more specifically with Christmas in late middle ages with the first Christkindlmarkt taking place in 1384 in the eastern hilltop town of Bautzen, Saxony. Munich also holds the evidence of a historic market dating back in 1310 followed by Frankfurt in 1393, Dresden’s Striezelmarkt in 1434 and Augsburg in 1498.

Today most German towns have Christmas market. Several cities in UK, US and Canada hold Christmas Market as well where visitors enjoy traditional foods, Nativity scenes, Zwetschgenmännle, Gebrannte Mandeln, Christmas cookies and many more.

Happy Holidays!

Photo from pixabay

7 thoughts on “A Brief History of Christmas Markets

  1. This was very educational and very interesting. The Christmas markets sure sound like a delight, I’m a Hindu so we don’t celebrate Christmas nor do we come across many Christmas markets around our place but this really made me feel that I’m right there. Merry Christmas in advance !

    Liked by 2 people

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