Christmas market

A Christmas market, also known as Christkindlmarkt (literally: Christ Child Market, but the term "Christkind" usually refers to an angel-like "spirit of Christmas" rather than literally the Christ Child), Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, Christkindlimarkt, and Weihnachtsmarkt, is a street market associated with the celebration of Christmas during the four weeks of Advent. These markets originated in Germany, but are now being held in many other countries.[1] The history of Christmas markets goes back to the Late Middle Ages in the German-speaking part of Europe, and in many parts of the former Holy Roman Empire that includes many eastern regions of France.[1] The Christmas markets of Bautzen were first held in 1384.[2] Dresden's Striezelmarkt was first held in 1434. Frankfurt's market was first mentioned in 1393, Munich's in 1310, and Augsburg's in 1498. In Austria, Vienna's "December market" can be considered a forerunner of Christmas markets and dates back to 1298.[3]

In many towns in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, Advent is usually ushered in with the opening of the Christmas market or "Weihnachtsmarkt". In southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria, it is called a "Christkind(e)l(s)(i)markt" (German language, literally meaning "Christ child market"). Traditionally held in the town square, the market has food, drink and seasonal items from open-air stalls accompanied by traditional singing and dancing. On opening night at the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, and in some other towns, onlookers welcome the "Christkind" (originally boy Jesus, but often depicted as an angel-like girl), acted out by a local child.

Striezelmarkt 2009 00950
The Striezelmarkt in Dresden, Germany is one of the oldest Christmas markets in the world

Attractions and stalls

Popular attractions at the markets include the Nativity Scene (a crèche or crib), Zwetschgenmännle (figures made of decorated dried plums), Nussknacker (carved Nutcrackers), Gebrannte Mandeln (candied, toasted almonds), traditional Christmas cookies such as Lebkuchen and Magenbrot (both forms of soft gingerbread), Bratwurst, and for many visitors one of the highlights of the market: Glühwein, hot mulled wine (with or without a shot of brandy), or Eierpunsch (an egg-based warm alcoholic drink). Both help stave off the cold winter air which sometimes dips below freezing. More regional food specialties include Christstollen (Stollen), a sort of bread with candied fruit in Saxony, and hot Apfelwein and Frankfurter Bethmännchen in Hesse.

Major Christmas markets

Famous Christmas markets are held in the cities of Augsburg, Dresden, Erfurt, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, and Stuttgart, making them popular tourist attractions during Christmas holiday season.[4][5] The Nuremberg and Dresden markets draw about two million people each year; the Stuttgart and Frankfurt markets attract more than three million visitors. The two most visited Christmas markets in Germany are to be found in Dortmund with more than three and a half million visitors of 300 stalls around a gigantic Christmas tree creation that stands 45 metres (148 ft) tall, and in Cologne with 4 million people.[6] Additionally, Berlin claims over 70 markets, which open in late November and close just after Christmas.[7]

Christmas markets are popular Christmas traditions in Austria, and are held in Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Linz, and Graz. The first "December Market" was held in Vienna in 1298.[8] Vienna currently holds 20 different Christmas markets around the city.[8] Most Christmas markets open in late November and last through December, closing right after 25 December, with a few staying open for New Year’s. The largest Christmas market and one of the most well known is the Vienna Christmas World on Rathausplatz near the Rathaus, Vienna’s historic city hall. The market draws 3 million people each year and includes 150 unique stalls that offer traditional Austrian foods, Christmas decorations and ornaments, handicrafts, and drinks.[9][10] The Vienna Christmas World on Rathausplatz also features an advent theme park called the Adventzauber with workshops and cultural performances that cater to families and young children. Visitors to the Vienna Christmas World can also ice skate on a 3,000-square-metre (32,000 sq ft) ice rink and through paths that run through the Rathausplatz Park.[9] Other famous Christmas markets include the Christmas Market at Schönbrunn Palace, the Art Advent on Karlsplatz, the Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace, and the Christmas Village on Maria-Theresien-Platz.[10] The Christmas Market at Schönbrunn Palace, “Kultur-und-Weichnactsmarkt,” takes place in front of the imperial palace. It features Austrian handicrafts and goods as well as a cultural program with activities and workshops. The Art Advent on Karlsplatz offers artisan goods, a children’s program, and a petting zoo.[11] Popular food specialities include Kinderpunsch (a non-alcoholic punch), Glühwein, Baumstriezel (a Hungarian pastry coated in cinnamon and sugar), Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), Lángos (savory deep fried dough), Schaumkuss (chocolate covered marshmallows), Stollen (bread with candied fruit), Maroni (roasted chestnuts), Bratkartoffel (roasted potato wedges), Lebkuchen (Austrian gingerbread), and baked potatoes.

Christmas markets are traditional in Alsace and most of the towns have their local Christmas market. Strasbourg, in Alsace, France, has been holding a Christmas market, "Christkindelsmärik," around its cathedral since 1570, when it was part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.[12]

The Christmas market of Barcelona starts on 13 December, Saint Lucy's Day, and is called Fira de Santa Llúcia. It has been held in the square of Barcelona Cathedral Square since 1786.

In 1982 Lincoln, England established an annual Christmas market in early December, and this remains one of the most extensive such market by area in the United Kingdom, with a claimed total of over 300 stalls attracting more than 100,000 visitors over its four days. Starting in 1997 Frankfurt Christmas Markets were established with support from Frankfurt in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, and Manchester.[13] Other large Christmas markets have been held in England in Bath (since 2000) and Liverpool (since 2006). The Christmas markets are such a success that they are becoming a major pull factor to increase trade and visitor numbers to towns and cities. Birmingham's Christmas Market, primarily located on New Street between the Bullring shopping centre and the Council House, is the "largest outdoor Christmas market in the UK"[14] as well as the "largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria".[15] The market also offers live entertainment on the main stage. The market is held for approximately six weeks every year and usually closes around 23 December. Manchester's Christmas Markets have also been successful with 300 stalls over eight city locations with each location being themed to create a different atmosphere such as French, World, and German, with European themed stalls on the Albert Square, Manchester proving to be the most popular.[16][17]

German immigrants also brought the Christmas market celebrations to the United States.[18][19][20][21][22]

A traditional Christmas market was held for the first time in Sibiu, Romania in 2007.[23]



Christmas market in Jena

Pic of Davidsbroen

Malmö Christmas market 2016 Dews events Malmö, Sweden

Xmas tree Colmar

In Colmar, 2010

German Christmas Market in Leeds

German Christmas market in Millennium Square, Leeds, UK

Traditional gingerbread hearts Berlin Xmas 2006

Traditional gingerbread hearts at a German Christmas market


Christmas market stalls

Hyde Park Christmas Market

Ferris Wheel at the Hyde Park Christmas Market

Erfurter Weihnachtsmarkt

Christmas market in Erfurt

Stuttgart Christmas Market

Christmas market in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg

Christmas Market Salzburg Austria

Salzburg, Austria

Rapperwil - Christkindlimärt IMG 4894 ShiftN

Christkindlimärt in Rapperswil, Switzerland

Gamla stans Julmarknad 2009j

2009 Julmarknad ("Christmas market") in Gamla stan, Stockholm

Wien Rathaus Christkindlmarkt Dez2006B

Vienna, Austria

Sternschnuppenmarkt Wiesbaden

Sternschnuppenmarkt in Wiesbaden, Germany


The Sibiu Christmas Market in Sibiu, Romania

Zagreb, Jelačićev plac - Božićni sajam 2015

The Christmas Market in Zagreb, Croatia

Christmas Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin 2006

Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin

Candy Shop (4144729004)

The Christmas Market in Wrocław, Poland

Copehagen Christmas market 2015

Dews events Copenhagen the white Christmas in Nytorv, Denmark

Fields Jule bod

Fields Shopping Center Christmas event 2016 by Dewsevents Fields, Denmark

Wien - Christkindlmarkt, Rathausplatz

Vienna Christmas market (2017)

Dortmund christmas tree 01

Biggest Christmas tree of the world, Dortmund Christmas Market

See also


  1. ^ a b "German Christmas markets: Seasonal shopping at its finest". The Independent. 11 November 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  2. ^ Darmstadt, IDL Software GmbH. "Weihnachtsmarkt in Bautzen - Weihnachten 2016". Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Christmas markets in Vienna". Austrian National Tourist Office. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  4. ^ Christmas City Nuremberg Stadt Nürnberg. Retrieved 8 July 2007
  5. ^ Stuttgart Christmas Market Archived 22 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine Stuttgart Marketing. Retrieved 8 July 2007
  6. ^ "Weihnachtsmärkte: Köln ist Publikumsmagnet : Topnews". Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  7. ^ Innes said... (26 December 2011). "Top Berlin Christmas Markets". On London Time. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Christmas Markets in Vienna". Austria. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Visit Top Christmas Markets (Weihnachtsmarkt) in Vienna". European Traveler. 12 August 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Christmas markets". VIENNA – Now. Forever. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Vienna Christmas Market Guide and Map 2018". Vienna Unwrapped. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  12. ^ Noël à Strasbourg Archived 17 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 8 July 2007
  13. ^ "Frankfurt Christmas Markets Great Britain Scotland England". Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  14. ^ Bentley, David (20 September 2018). "These are the dates for Birmingham German Christmas Market 2018". birminghammail. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Frankfurt Christmas Market Birmingham | 15 November 2018 to 23 December 2018". Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  16. ^ Denise Evans (18 November 2012). "Manchester Christmas Markets 2012: A guide to the city's festive stalls - Manchester Evening News". Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  17. ^ "Mapped: Manchester set for 'biggest and best ever' Christmas markets - Manchester Evening News". 2 November 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  18. ^ CHRISTKINDLMARKT BETHLEHEM ArtsQuest (2006). Retrieved 8 July 2007
  19. ^ Christkindlmarket Chicago Archived 3 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, 17 November 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2007
  20. ^ Denver Christkindl Market German American Chamber of Commerce Colorado Chapter. (2006). Retrieved 8 July 2007
  21. ^ Donner. "Mifflinburg Christkindl Market". Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  22. ^ Christkindlmarkt 2007 Archived 17 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine German-American Society of Tulsa, 1 May 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2007
  23. ^ (, Graffino. "Târgul de Crăciun din Sibiu". Retrieved 25 December 2016.

Further reading

External links

2014 Nantes attack

On 22 December 2014, Sébastien Sarron ran over ten pedestrians in his white van at the Christmas market of the French city of Nantes, and then attempted suicide by stabbing himself. Ten people, including the suspect, suffered non-fatal injuries, and one person, a man by the name of Virgile Porcher, was pronounced clinically dead the following day.The attack came a day after a similar automotive attack on pedestrians in Dijon, and two days after a stabbing attack inside a police station in Joué-lès-Tours. Although the three attacks were treated as unrelated, the French government deployed 300 soldiers onto the nation's streets to heighten security afterwards.The Financial Times describes this attack, the 21 December 2014 Dijon attack, and the 20 December 2014 Tours police station stabbing as "the first ISIS-linked attacks" in France.

2016 Berlin truck attack

On 19 December 2016, a truck was deliberately driven into the Christmas market next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, leaving 12 people dead and 56 others injured. One of the victims was the truck's original driver, Łukasz Urban, who was found shot dead in the passenger seat. The truck was eventually stopped by its automatic brakes. The perpetrator was Anis Amri, a Tunisian failed asylum seeker. Four days after the attack, he was killed in a shootout with police near Milan in Italy. An initial suspect was arrested and later released due to lack of evidence. The event was designated as a terrorist attack.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant gave Anis Amri instructions. ISIL released a video of Amri pledging allegiance to the terror group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

2018 Strasbourg attack

On the evening of 11 December 2018, a terrorist attack occurred in Strasbourg, France, when a man attacked civilians in the city's busy Christkindelsmärik (Christmas market) with a revolver and a knife, killing five and wounding 11 before fleeing in a taxi. Authorities called the shooting an act of terrorism.The attacker was 29-year-old Chérif Chekatt, who had multiple criminal convictions and was on a security services watchlist as a suspected Islamist extremist. Chekatt was killed in a shootout with French police on the evening of 13 December after a manhunt involving 700 officers. He had pledged allegiance to the terrorist organisation Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) judicial sources said.


Bethmännchen (German for "a little Bethmann") is a pastry made from marzipan with almond, powdered sugar, rosewater, flour and egg. It is a traditional cookie usually baked for Christmas Day and is widely available in chocolate shops around Frankfurt.It is a special commodity sold in Frankfurt's Christmas market, one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany which dates back as far as 1393.

Biberach an der Riss

Biberach (German pronunciation: [ˈbiːbəʁax]) is a town in the south of Germany. It is the capital of Biberach district, in the Upper Swabia region of the German state (Land) of Baden-Württemberg. To distinguish it from the other towns of the same name it is called Biberach an der Riss (German: Biberach an der Riß) after the small river Riss which flows through the city (the Riss also gave its name to the Riss glaciation period).

British Christmas Tree Growers Association

The British Christmas Tree Growers Association is the trade association for those who grow specialist Christmas Trees in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Membership is open to those who intend to grow or are growing trees for the Christmas market. Associate membership is available for those who provide goods and services to the Christmas Tree sector.

Members of the BCTGA cultivate well shaped and sturdy trees specially for the Christmas festivities.

Christkindelsmärik, Strasbourg

Christkindelsmärik (Alsatian dialect meaning "Market of the Christ Child") is a Christmas market held annually in Strasbourg, France on the Grande Île near Strasbourg Cathedral and Place Kléber. It draws in approximately 2 million visitors each year and since the arrival of TGV service in Strasbourg in 2007, the number of visitors has been on the rise. Hotels can be booked a year in advance and some receive between 15-17% of their yearly income thanks to the Christkindelsmarik's visitors. It is considered one of the most famous Christmas markets throughout Europe. It is estimated that the city benefits of a 16 million Euros profit from this 38-day-long tradition. It is mostly famous for its fragrance of mulled wine (French: vin chaud; German: Glühwein).

Distillery District

The Distillery District is a commercial and residential district in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Located east of downtown, it contains numerous cafés, restaurants, and shops housed within heritage buildings of the former Gooderham and Worts Distillery. The 13 acres (5.3 ha) district comprises more than forty heritage buildings and ten streets, and is the largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America.

The district was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1988.

Economics of Christmas

The economics of Christmas is significant because Christmas is typically a peak selling season for retailers in many nations around the world. Sales increase dramatically as people purchase gifts, decorations, and supplies to celebrate. In the U.S., the "Christmas shopping season" starts as early as October. In Canada, merchants begin advertising campaigns just before Halloween (31 October), and step up their marketing following Remembrance Day on 11 November. In the UK and Ireland, the Christmas shopping season starts from mid November, around the time when high street Christmas lights are turned on. In the United States, it has been calculated that a quarter of all personal spending takes place during the Christmas/holiday shopping season. Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that expenditure in department stores nationwide rose from $20.8 billion in November 2004 to $31.9 billion in December 2004, an increase of 54 percent. In other sectors, the pre-Christmas increase in spending was even greater, there being a November–December buying surge of 100 percent in bookstores and 170 percent in jewelry stores. In the same year employment in American retail stores rose from 1.6 million to 1.8 million in the two months leading up to Christmas.Industries completely dependent on Christmas include Christmas cards, of which 1.9 billion are sent in the United States each year, and live Christmas Trees, of which 20.8 million were cut in the U.S. in 2002. In most Western nations, Christmas Day is the least active day of the year for business and commerce; almost all retail, commercial and institutional businesses are closed, and almost all industries cease activity (more than any other day of the year), whether laws require such or not. In England and Wales, the Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004 prevents all large shops from trading on Christmas Day. Film studios release many high-budget movies during the holiday season, including Christmas films, fantasy movies or high-tone dramas with high production values to hopes of maximizing the chance of nominations for the Academy Awards.

One economist's analysis calculates that, despite increased overall spending, Christmas is a deadweight loss under orthodox microeconomic theory, because of the effect of gift-giving. This loss is calculated as the difference between what the gift giver spent on the item and what the gift receiver would have paid for the item. It is estimated that in 2001, Christmas resulted in a $4 billion deadweight loss in the U.S. alone. Because of complicating factors, this analysis is sometimes used to discuss possible flaws in current microeconomic theory. Other deadweight losses include the effects of Christmas on the environment and the fact that material gifts are often perceived as white elephants, imposing cost for upkeep and storage and contributing to clutter.

Even Better Than the Real Thing album series

Even Better Than the Real Thing is the title of a number of Irish charity albums recorded on The Ray D'Arcy Show on Today FM and released over a number of years for the Irish Christmas market. The albums featured Irish artists performing covers of various pop songs until 2005 when the series was temporarily discontinued, although in 2008 Even Better Than the Disco Thing was released featuring covers of disco songs instead. The title is taken from the U2 song "Even Better Than the Real Thing".

Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham

The Frankfurt Christmas Market and Craft Market is an annual outdoor Christmas market and craft fair held in central Birmingham, England. The market started in 2001 with 24 stalls and has expanded every year. It opens in mid November and continues until late December, closing just before Christmas.

The Christmas Market and Craft Fair is located in Centenary Square, Chamberlain Square, New Street, and Victoria Square. It is the largest such market outside Germany and Austria, attracting over 3.1 million visitors in 2010, over 5 million visitors in 2011, almost 5 million visitors in 2013 and over 5.5 million visitors in 2014. German food and drink such as Bratwurst and Glühwein are available.

On 15 November 2018, after an inspection by Birmingham City Council's environmental health officials, twenty of the market's food stalls were ordered to improve hygiene . Two further stalls were summarily closed for failing to display mandatory allergen advice. When reinspected on 20 November, all the stalls were found to meet the required standards.The market is affiliated with the Frankfurt Christmas Market in the city of Frankfurt, one of the oldest such markets in Germany (dating from 1393), hence the name. Birmingham is twinned with Frankfurt.


Linthouse is a district in the Scottish city of Glasgow. It is situated south of the River Clyde and lies immediately west of Govan. Although it is currently located within Govan (Ward 05) of Glasgow City Council and is often referred to locally as 'Govan', it was in fact a distinct area separate from Govan until 1901 when it willfully became part of Govan Burgh until 1912 when the Burgh was annexed to Glasgow.

Linthouse was home to the shipbuilder Alexander Stephen and Sons Limited who built many famous vessels for the Royal Navy in the 20th Century.

Linthouse was a separate Church of Scotland parish (Linthouse St. Kenneth) until November 2007 when it merged with the neighbouring parishes of Govan Old and New Govan to become part of the new Govan and Linthouse parish.

Towards the end of the 19th century, there was a Scottish Football League club in the area, Linthouse F.C..

The Linthouse Urban Village is an organisation promoting the Linthouse area, as part of the larger Govan Initiative organisation. They run the LUV cafe on Govan Road and a gallery on the other side of the road. The Luma Tower is a famous landmark in the area; originally an Art Deco light bulb factory - it was restored and converted to private housing in the mid-1990s.

Linthouse also runs an annual Christmas market in the "Tunnel Park" which overlooks the Clyde Tunnel.

List of Christmas markets

This is a list of Christmas markets from around the world.

Christmas markets are listed using their unique name. The list is ordered by continent and then by country.


Marienplatz (en: Mary's Square, i.e. St. Mary, Our Lady's Square) is a central square in the city centre of Munich, Germany. It has been the city's main square since 1158.

Pegnitz (town)

Pegnitz is a town in the Bayreuth district in Upper Franconia, Bavaria, Germany, with a population of approximately 15,000 inhabitants. It is also the source of the river Pegnitz. The city Bayreuth is about 27 km to the north.

The villages (Ortsteile) in Pegnitz are:

Annual events are the Christmas market, the Open-Air Rock Festival Waldstock, and above all, the seasonal strong-beer festival called Flinderer.

Rare (David Bowie album)

Rare (often known as Bowie Rare) was a compilation released by RCA Records to cash in on David Bowie for the 1982 Christmas market. The artist's relations with the company were at a low – Bowie had recorded his last music for RCA with the Baal EP, and had been annoyed by the release of a five-year-old duet with Bing Crosby ("Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy") as a single without his consultation. Bowie let it be known he was unhappy with the Rare package, and would sign with EMI for his next album. All of the songs were being issued for the first time on an LP and cassette.

The compilation contained rarities ranging from 1969 to 1980. There is no CD reissue of this compilation, and such a release seems unlikely as much of the content is available on other CDs.

On the UK Album Chart, where it remained for eleven weeks, the album peaked at number 34. RCA did not issue the album in the USA.

Tallinn Christmas Market

Tallinn Christmas Market (Estonian: Tallinna Jõuluturg) is a Christmas market held every year in Tallinn, Estonia. The modern Christmas market was founded in 1997 and it is open from the last week of November to the first week of January the following year. Founded by Paul Oberschneider, the market brings tourists from all over the world to Tallinn. This is due to the Julian calendar according to which, the Christmas Day of the Russian Orthodox Church is on 7 January.This is traditionally held on the old Town Hall Square. At the heart of trading is the most important Christmas tree in Estonia, surrounded by Christmas cabins/stands that sells handcrafts, hot wine and souvenirs to about 200,000 visitors every year.


Tenterden is a town with a large conservation area in the Ashford District of Kent, England. It stands on the edge of the remnant forest The Weald, overlooking the valley of the River Rother. It was a member of the Cinque Ports Confederation. Its riverside today is not navigable to large vessels and its status as a wool manufacturing centre has been lost. Tenterden has several voluntary organisations, some of which are listed below, seven large or very old public houses within its area and has long distance walking and cycling routes within its boundaries.

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