While you were cooking your holiday meals, we were out celebrating the beginning of the Christmas season. Last night was the first night of the Christmas markets, which open one month before Christmas Day.
Amelia and her fellow kindergartners had the privilege of opening up the festivities with songs on a stage in the middle of the town square. I wasn’t able to get any good shots of that. But I did get one of the lady there with the traditional wreath on her head (Amelia told me the name for it, but I’ve forgotten!) They sang a few songs, including “Nikolaus” which is sung to the same tune as “Jingle Bells.”
There was quite a lot of fanfare, and afterward we had fun milling around, looking at shops, drinking warm gluhwein and cherry cider. There were also roasted chestnuts and carousel rides!
I loved all of the booths selling their wares. This one is a Krippe shop– selling anything and everything you could possibly think of for a nativity scene. I can only assume that people here set up elaborate towns each year…
The miniature home goods are my favorite, especially the straw brooms!
And you cannot forget the beehives, birdhouses, rabbit hutches and wells!
There were a lot of stores selling Christmas decorations.
Of course, there were plenty of sweets shops. These are Lebkuchen– gingerbread cookies!
Here’s a more “homemade” sort of cookie shop.
A very hard-working little Nikolaus!
Cider/ Gluhwein booth. Here, they serve you your drink in a real mug (no plastic or styrofoam) and you pay a little deposit on the cup. When you’re done at the end of the evening, you get your money back. I love this– so little waste, and I feel much more at home drinking from a real mug– more like I’m at someone’s home than at a public event!
One of the best things about being there last night was the fact that there were plenty of people around that we knew! I have made a lot of relationships with parents of the kids at Amelia’s school, and so we felt like we were actual participants, rather than observers. That was truly heart-warming for me!