There are plenty of Christmas traditions all over Europe. Christmas markets are common in many countries as a place were holiday-themed articles are being sold, craftmanship is on display and warming beverages are consumed to brace against the cold weather.
Among those, the Nuremberg Christmas Market is probably the best-known. Nuremberg is the second-largest city in the German state of Bavaria notable for its medieval architecture and many historic sights. These form the framework for the Christkindlesmarkt, one of the oldest and most-visited Christmas markets in Germany and Europe. Attracting visitors from all over the country and even from abroad, Nuremberg counts some two million visitors annually on the occasion of the Christkindlesmarkt.
It is not entirely clear when the tradition began but it is assumed that the display of holiday-related goods was derived from the regular market in the early 17th century. Visitors will find some 200 vendor stalls at the Hauptmarkt, the old town’s central square. They are grouped around a large nativity scene crib. The characteristic items offered include Nuremberg’s famous Lebkuchen, a gingerbread variety and figurines made from prunes. Christmas ornaments and home decor are also available in great numbers.
The Nuremberg Christmas Market wouldn’t be complete without the “Christkind”, impersonated by a young woman dressed in gold and white garments from Nuremberg who gets chosen in an online pageant and has the dury of speaking the opening words of the annual market. The candidate who gets the honors becomes a local celebrity who will have hundreds of appearances throughout the year and who will also travel abroad to open christmas markets in other countries.
The Christkindlesmarkt opens annually on the Friday before the first Advent Sunday and it closes on 24th December.
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