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Christmas markets tradition

January 25, 2018

Since my childhood, during Christmas season, I have liked strolling though Christmas market streets, smelling the hot red wine and the cheese, hearing the bells, and feeling the freezing air in my neck.

In Paris, the snow is not always there, so to get a little bit of the Christmas atmosphere, the Christmas market is a good compromise.
This passion followed me all my chilhood and my teenagehood. So imagine my happiness when my mother told me that we would spend holidays in Strasbourg, the city of Christmas.
In this city there are more than 15 Christmas markets with bretzels, hot red wine, flammenkuche and bredeles (typical cookies) everywhere… What a paradise!

Strasbourg was the first French city to welcome the tradition of the Christmas market in 1570. But the idea first came from Germany. First, in the Late Middle Age, winter markets and December markets were put in place in Europe. In those markets, we found food, toys, … The first Christmas market was created in 1434 in the city of Dresden, Germany and was approved by Frederick II, Elector of Saxony. The event only lasted one day. In Germany, Christmas markets are called Striezelmarkt. In those markets, the meat is the main food you can find. But the unforgettable thing in this market is the 14-meter Christmas pyramid.
It was in Nuremberg that  the “Lebkuchen” (gingerbread cookies) was born.
According to German people, Martin Luther boosted the popularity of Christmas markets by bringing gifts on Christmas Eve, rather than on St. Nicholas Day (December 6).
Little by little, Christmas market developed in Europe and then all around the world. What is interesting is the fact that each Christmas market has a particularity, a typical monument, a tradition.
A site even gathers the best Christmas markets of the world :

Since my trip to Strasbourg and Colmar, I just want to discover as many Christmas markets as possible, taste the traditional food of each country, and always feel this Christmas atmosphere that I like so much!

I hope that I brought back a little bit of the Christmas fever that went by so fast!


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