(ju) The Christmas season is approaching and with it the cherished tradition of Christmas markets with wonderful scents of gingerbread, spices and mulled wine. Christmas markets are part of Advent like Christmas trees, fairy lights and „Last Christmas“ on the radio. The tradition of the pre-Christmas market dates back to the Middle Ages. At that time, it still served to supply the citizens, but now the focus is on social gatherings. In the two years of the pandemic, people had to give up the pleasure, too great the risk of infection with many people in a confined space.
More than 600 years ago, the first Christmas markets in German-speaking countries were mentioned in local chronicles. The Wenceslas Market in Bautzen is said to have taken place as early as 1384. Dresden‘s Striezelmarkt was mentioned in a document in 1434. The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt or the Augsburg Lebzeltermarkt have also been around for a similar length of time. A Viennese „winter market“ even dates back to 1382.
However, the markets in the Middle Ages have little to do with today‘s entertainment events. The medieval townspeople stocked up here with food and utensils for the upcoming winter and Christmas. In addition to the traders with food, craftsmen such as basket weavers, cobblers and gradually also toy makers were given the right to offer their goods on the markets. In many places, cake bakers took care of the physical well-being of market visitors. Travelling musicians took over the musical accompaniment of the markets in the Middle Ages.
The transition from the supply market to atmospheric pleasure begins in the 17th and 18th centuries. During this time, Christmas changes from a purely religious to a bourgeois family celebration. Social gatherings and gifts for the children are gaining importance for the middle and upper classes. At the pre-Christmas markets, food and drinks are increasingly offered, but also toys. The custom of setting up cribs also dates from this period. The first nativity scenes came from Italy at the beginning of the 17th century. Live nativity scenes with sheep, goats and donkeys can sometimes still be found today, especially in rural markets.
The National Socialists abused the tradition and converted the Christmas markets into a pagan winter festival. Thus, they are ideologized in the sense of National Socialism. However, the Second World War soon put an end to the goings-on. Even in the post-war period, hardly any markets took place due to the poor economic situation. Only with the resurgent prosperity in the 60s, the centuries-old tradition picks up speed again.
In Germany alone, more than 2,500 Christmas markets now take place every year. With around 250 stalls, the Leipzig Christmas Market is considered one of the largest in the country. In addition to the large Christmas markets with hundreds of stalls and a colourful range of fairground such as rides or ice rinks, more and more small markets are emerging – for example in urban backyards or on rural estates. They are called Christmas, Christkindl, or Advent markets. The term winter market is also becoming more and more popular in times when the Christian tradition is receding into the background. Especially in small communities and municipalities, the associations often take over the organisation of the Christmas markets – for the common good and the cohesion of the place.
Historic-looking stalls, floor lined with bark mulch, traditional handicrafts and homemade products are in vogue. In addition to regional specialities, gingerbread or cotton candy is still served with the obligatory mulled wine. Christmas brass music and freshly baked waffles are also part of the Christmas market experience for many. And of course, the children‘s carousel should not be missing.
Christmas markets in HG and MTK
Fischbach Christmas Market
It traditionally opens on the first weekend of Advent as the first of Kelkheim‘s Christmas markets.
Saturday, November 26, 3 to 10 p.m.,
Sunday, November 27, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Around the parish church of the Holy Trinity in the heart of Kelkheim-Fischbach.
Königstein Christmas Market
Christmas market activity on the Kapuzinerplatz, in the Kurpark and on the Rathausplatz.
Friday, 2 December, 4 to 9.30 pm,
Saturday, 3 December, 11 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.,
Sunday, December 4, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Königstein am Taunus
Bad Soden Christmas Market
Santa Claus arrives in his carriage and a Christmas fire show accompanied by American Christmas carols round out this traditional market.
Saturday, 3 December, 3 to 10 pm,
Sunday, December 4, 12 noon to 6 p.m.
Beautiful ambience in the heart of the city – in the Kurpark Bad Soden
Christmas Market at the Castle Hotel
During the Advent season, the castle terrace is transformed into a romantic Christmas market. Stroll through the magnificently illuminated and festively decorated small stalls in a historic ambience.
Saturday, December 10, 12 noon to 8 p.m.
Schlosshotel Kronberg, Hainstr. 25, Kronberg im Taunus
Saturday, December 10, 2 pm
Kronberg Christmas Market
The Kronberg clubs characterise the offer of the atmospheric Christmas market
Saturday, December 10, 3 to 9 pm,
Sunday, December 11, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Old Town, Kronberg im Taunus
Münster Christmas Market
Small and homely, the Münster Christmas Market attracts guests from near and far.
Sunday, December 11, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In the old Königsteiner Straße and at the church square St. Dionysius in Kelkheim-Münster
Mammolshain Christmas Market
The Kerbeverein Mammolshain invites you to a small but fine Christmas market
Saturday, December 17, up from 2 p.m.
Oberhöchstätter Christmas Market
The clubs of the district Oberhöchstadt create a Christmas atmosphere with their stands around the „Dalles“.
Saturday, December 17, 3 to 9 pm
Dalles, Altkönigstraße/Limburger Straße
Cut your own Christmas tree
10 December, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Pferdehof Seelenberg, Tuttmannswald car park
10 December, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Landsgraben car park
10 December, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Feldberg, Sandplacken
11 December, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Borgnisweg 1, Naturfreundehaus
15 December, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Schloßborn, Kapellenstraße
17 December, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Glashütten/Schloßborn, Hasenmühlenweg
17 December, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kelkheim, Breiter Weg car park, B455
Sale of Christmas trees
10 December, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., German Forest Youth, Gimbacher Hof, Kelkheim
15 to 17 December, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Forstamt Königstein, Ölmühlweg 17, Königstein
17 December, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., German Forest Youth, Gimbacher Hof, Kelkheim
Christmas Market Königstein