Christmas enters, streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope and singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.

Maya Angelou, "Amazing Peace"

The Christmas market in the old town of Marburg on a rainy afternoon.
The Christmas market in the old town of Marburg on a rainy afternoon.© Rayhona
Handmade wooden Christmas decorations, beautifully draped and laid out, are sold at a German Christmas market.
Handmade wooden Christmas decorations, beautifully draped and laid out, are sold at a German Christmas market.© Rayhona
Shiny Christmas stars, beautifully hung and laid out, are sold at a German Christmas market.
Shiny Christmas stars, beautifully hung and laid out, are sold at a German Christmas market.© Rayhona

My most favorite Christmas markets:

  1. Dresden Striezelmarkt (one of the oldest Christmas markets in the world; try Dresdner Stollen (a type of fruitcake))
  2. Mainzer Weihnachtsmarkt (variety of traditional wooden handmade crafts)
  3. Gengenbacher Christkindlesmarkt ( look there for the world’s largest Advent calendar house)

One of the magical months of winter, December, is here. That means Christmas markets are finally open, and people gather to share memories of the entire year.

Germany is famous for its traditional Christmas markets. Every year, people from around the globe come to visit unique Christmas markets in different parts of Germany. The atmosphere is incredible, with everything glowing and sparkling! Christmas stalls look so cozy and inviting. The sweet aroma of various festive scents, like cinnamon, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread, fills the air, enticing visitors to come closer to stands and try some pieces of Christmas specialties.

Colorful handcrafted items also capture interest. You can find everything here, including festive-shaped candles, hand-painted pottery items, and hand-carved wooden items. If you are searching for a unique present for friends or family members, then this is the right place for that.

 

 

Currywurst with chips, one of the most popular German fast food meals.
Currywurst with chips, one of the most popular German fast food meals.© Rayhona

Food and Drink at German Christmas Markets

At all Christmas markets, you can find a variety of food, mainly prepared with potatoes and sausages. One popular German fast food at the Christmas market is currywurst. It consists of steamed, then fried sausage that is cut into slices and seasoned with a spiced ketchup sauce, typically containing curry powder. Currywurst is often served with a side of chips or a bread roll.

Another popular dish is Reibekuchen (potato pancakes). I enjoy ordering it at the Christmas market because it is so fresh, warm, and crispy. It consists of grated potatoes and onions mixed with other ingredients to form a batter, which is then fried until crispy and golden brown. Reibekuchen can be served with various toppings, such as applesauce or sour cream.

And what about warm drinks? Everywhere, you can find Glühwein (mulled wine), Kinderpunsch (non-alcoholic drink containing fruit juices and spices), and hot chocolate. But some Christmas markets, such as the one I visited in Gengenbach, offer special types of drinks. My favorite is Apfelzauber. It is apple juice with a variety of spices, mainly featuring cinnamon. Those who like sour apples will really enjoy this drink.

Something that I tried for the first time this year at the Christmas market is roasted chestnuts (geröstete Maronen). It has an interesting taste. The inner nut is soft and mildly sweet. I am not a big fan of nuts at all. That’s why I personally didn’t really like it.

A small stand that offers sweets and chocolate fruits.
A small stand that offers sweets and chocolate fruits.© Rayhona

And how is Christmas without sweets? 

You cannot just pass by stalls with sweets without having tasted at least one fruit coated in a layer of chocolate or in a glaze. I love apples in glaze very much. It reminds me of my childhood. When I was a student in my home country, a woman used to sell glazed apples in autumn and winter near my school. My mother used to buy me such kind of apple sometimes. Every time I eat it again, I become happy and reminisce about old days…

Some Christmas markets also offer various types of honey and skincare products containing honey. I think it could be a good Christmas present because honey is so important for our health, especially in winter. It contains lots of essential vitamins. Drinking warm milk with a spoonful of honey, makes the immune system stronger.

Sweet, homemade Christmas decorations to hang up, in the foreground Rayhona is holding a little gingerbread man.
Sweet, homemade Christmas decorations to hang up, in the foreground Rayhona is holding a little gingerbread man.© Rayhona
Reibekuchen, a German food made from grated potatoes fried in fat.
Reibekuchen, a German food made from grated potatoes fried in fat.© Rayhona

Could you list five things that you should try at the German Christmas market? :)

Roasted chestnuts
Roasted chestnuts© Rayhona

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