Freshly cut Christmas trees, snow covered roofs, the smell of gingerbread – is there anything more Christmassy than a German Christmas market?
Christmas is always my favourite time of year and having grown up in Germany I have been going to Christmas markets since I was little, but no matter how many years pass, I never get tired of them. I love all the little stalls that sell traditional wooden decorations and being a food lover, one of my favourite parts of any Christmas market is the wide variety of food stalls where you can buy almost any food imaginable, be it traditional German cuisine or other delicious foods from around the world. From traditional German sausages, to French crepes, to toffee apples or potato rostis with apple sauce – you really don’t need to go hungry in any of the fantastic Christmas markets that Germany has to offer.
In fact, perhaps the only difficulty you may have is choosing which of the many markets to visit. Popular options include Nuremberg, Dresden, Berlin and of course Cologne, although having studied in Dortmund my loyalties will always lie there, not least because Dortmund’s Christmas market boasts the largest Christmas tree in the world.
Another of my other favourite things about Christmas markets is that despite the cold temperatures there is something so festively cosy about standing outside with your winter clothes, listening to carol singers bringing seasonal cheer and warming your hands on a mug (or two) of homemade mulled wine – something which it has to be said Germany excels in producing!
So this year, having spent the last two winters in Cambodia enjoying wonderful, but rather untraditional Christmas days in the tropics, I can’t wait to get home to spend the day with my family reminiscing about the past and eating too much food. It’s just a shame we can’t have Christmas all year round!