Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Travels- Christmas Market

Many years ago now I lived in Austria... as I mention often.  Germanic countries do Christmas a little differently than those of us from a British type background.  I mean obviously we got the tree thing from them and the red and green but then things get a tiny bit crazy.  For one thing St. Nicholas has a day at the beginning of December and in Austria he has a side kick.  This sidekick is the one who punishes everyone who's been bad.  This is him:

First of all I would like to point out that more than one adult male in our tiny Austrian village had such a costume.  Then I'd like to point out they have whips.  These days the "punishing" largely seems to involve scaring the heck out of tourists and going around friends' places demanding beer and schnapps.

One of the traditions that is rather less bizarre is that of Christmas Markets... or Baby Jesus Markets as we translated them (Baby Jesus is my favourite Jesus... name that film... then admit to sharing terrible taste with my family).  At the time I was visiting Christmas Markets in Vienna and Salzburg I was still on a camera that took film... I KNOW.  That was the Christmas when I got a digital camera.  I didn't do justice to the Christmas markets at all but they were quite magical.


A couple of years later when Husband and I were dating we got talking about Germanic Christmas Markets as it turned out his parents enjoyed visiting them as well.  A trip to Luebeck, Germany was arranged.  This was much further north in Germany than I'd been before as Austria borders on the south. It was nice to see a different part but experience some of the same traditional food and drinks (Germans do a mulled wine like no one else... seriously... with enough of that they'd have been able to conquer Russia).

You can't have a traditional German Christmas Market without Chinese Food!

And the last reason that Christmas Markets hold a special place in my heart....


Sarah Craig said...

I loved them in Germany, the highlight of our time there!

Elizabeth said...

Next year we shall definitely go again - just love the atmosphere, the gluhwien and the food!

Nicole said...

this is amazing! the markets look like so much fun. but holycow! that monster is some kinda freaky!