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FROHES WEIHNACHTEN: A Visit to Germany's Christmas Markets [Lots of pictures, not 56k-friendly]
SPIEGEL Online ^ | December 07, 2006 | Various

Posted on 12/07/2006 11:30:05 PM PST by wolf78

FROHES WEIHNACHTEN A Visit to Germany's Christmas Markets

Germany's Christmas markets are famous the world over. And it's that time of year again. The mulled wine is brewing, the lights are up, and Germans are spending their evenings strolling through their very own winter wonderland. Here's SPIEGEL ONLINE's guide to some of the best Christmas markets in Germany ... and a few of the worst.

For hundreds of years, merchants have erected small wooden huts in the ancient centers of cities and towns all across Germany at Christmas, where artisans peddle handicrafts, baked goods, regional cuisine and millions of liters of Glühwein (mulled wine) to help keep Jack Frost away. For the month of December, right up to the 24th, and in some cases until New Year's, the country's world-famous Christmas markets offer a sort of mini Oktoberfest all across the country, where dirndl-clad Bavarian bar wenches, beer and pretzels are replaced with Saint Nicholas, Glühwein, gingerbread, fruitcake, speculatius and other holiday delights.

With regular December snowfall, in many Germany cities, a White Christmas is almost guaranteed at a number of local Weihnachstmärkte (Christmas markets) or Christkindlesmärkte. The most famous include Nuremberg's Christmas market, which draws millions each year and dates back to the 16th century, and Dresden's Striezelmarkt, famous for its delicious, powdered sugar-coated Stollen fruit cakes.

The markets are a major draw, luring 160 million visitors from around the world to more than 2,500 Christmas markets. These temples to Christmas spirit also provide a needed once-a-year booster shot in the arms of local economies, with total Christmas market-related tourism spending estimated at close to €5 billion per year. Not bad for an oversized crafts and bake sale.

(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Germany
KEYWORDS: christmas; germany
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To: wolf78

An Easter Bunny protests against Christmas. This grumpy creature has climbed up the tower of the Nikolai Church in Roemer Square, Frankfurt.

Nah, he just found out that Jimmy Carter was in town. :)

21 posted on 12/08/2006 8:37:48 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: wolf78

WHOA!!

Eating my heart out!

I've been to some of those cities but not at Christmas time. THANK YOU so much for posting this. I think I just turned green. Really enjoyed this.


22 posted on 12/08/2006 2:28:01 PM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: dfwgator
Here's one from my hometown... gonna be there in 6 days. Heat the mulled wine !



23 posted on 12/12/2006 12:46:39 AM PST by Rummenigge (there's people willing to blow out the light because it casts a shadow)
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