Weihnachtsmarkt/German Christmas markets

Ah, Christmas….I love this time of year.  The lights, the festivities, the food, the smells, and the joys of experiencing all these things with your family.  Germany, like many countries in Europe, is really big on Christmas.  There are markets, or weihnachtsmarkts, all over the country.  The larger markets commence with the beginning of the Advent calendar and follow this.  The smaller towns and markets may only hold their market for one day or weekend!  It helps to be informed and do your research.  They sell trinkets, ornaments, food, drinks, and even Christmas trees and wreaths at the markets.  There is usually live entertainment as well.  The atmosphere is so cheerful and festive; you cannot help but feel happy while walking among the stalls and decorations while sipping a glühwein (hot spiced wine, or a cup of deliciousness in my opinion).

We had planned to go to at least one every weekend.  We have previously been to markets in Austria and Italy, so this was our first German market experience.  However, November and December were very busy months for us.  Between Andy traveling for work every other week, Christmas and birthday parties, cheerleading games, and traveling back to the states for Christmas, our time to experience the weihnachtsmarkts was severely limited this year.  However, we managed to see the Vilseck, Grafenwöhr, and Amberg markets.  Not the big city markets, but we still enjoyed them.  Here are a few of our pictures from these markets:

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Stollen, a traditional German treat, at the Grafenwöhr weihnachtsmarkt
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Grafenwöhr, Germany
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Enjoying a treat at the Vilseck weihnachtsmarkt
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Vilseck, Germany
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Meredith and I

 

Trees for sale at the Amberg weihnachtsmarkt
Trees for sale at the Amberg weihnachtsmarkt

 

I look forward to at least a few more years of enjoying the markets, not only for the culture but for the experience.  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season as well!  What are your traditions or experiences from this time of year?

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