Monday, December 14, 2009

Der Weihnachtsmarkt : The Christmas Market

With the beginning of Advent, Christmas markets all over Germany open. In plazas and squares, bakers and crafters and artists set up shop. Heidelberg hosts several markets in four separate squares in the old city, and it is really lovely and picturesque.

This stand is selling traditional Nutcrackers and wooden ornaments.

Of course there are Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and candy sellers everywhere.

Besides from Christmas fare, there are also beautiful crafts for sale, like this lovely pottery.

This brilliantly lit shop is selling Glühwein, a spiced mulled-wine that's only drunk at this time of year.
It is powerful stuff! I like the taste, but, really, I should stay far away from it!

This man is carving a wooden bowl. His shop sells all sorts of wooden
serving platters as well as stools and tables - all hand carved by him!

This is the bowl and ladle I bought from him. I love it that I know
who made this and that I can see his knife patterns all over the bowl.

I wish that the States had more of a market culture. Sure, there are farmers markets and craft markets, especially in large cities, like New York, but we're still much more dependent on Target and supermarkets. Not that I don't love Target! But, there is lots to be said about buying direct from a grower or crafter or artist and enjoying the walk around a city square.


Marian said...

Do you remember the Christkindlmarkt they have in Chicago every year with insanely fragile yet cool ornaments, gingerbread, Gluehwein ... your wallet can get vacuumed out in a matter of minutes. I really miss it. Drink some Gluehwein for me (or at least sniff it - even the smell is enough to blow the top of your head off :)).

Marianevans said...

I never went to the Christkindlmarkt! Well, I've made up for it in full by now, I hope. And I did drink that Gluehwein...a little too much of it. I really, really regretted it! :)