Ring in the holidays at German Christmas markets

by Petra Lessoing
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Walking through the center of town, shoppers can tell Christmas is only a few weeks away. Window displays show holiday decorations, and Christmas markets in stores offer anything having to do with the holidays, such as ornaments, Christmas cookies and chocolate Santa Clauses.

In Germany, outdoor Christmas markets are special events taking place during the pre-Christmas season. They consist of little wooden booths and houses decorated with fir tree garlands and light bulbs.

During the markets, vendors sell traditional Christmas items, such as ornaments, candles, angels, Advent wreaths and nutcrackers. Shoppers also find ideas for Christmas gifts, such as wooden toys, puppets, handmade pottery, handcrafted leather items, glass products, jewelry and more.

Typical smells shoppers experience when strolling along the booths are the smells of roasted chestnuts, cinnamon waffles, Thüringer bratwurst and “Glühwein,” which is a typical winter drink of heated red wine spiced
with cloves and cinnamon sticks.

The first Christmas market in the KMC to open this season is the one in Kaiserslautern, which is set up between Stiftskirche and Schillerplatz.

Photo by City of KaiserslauternThe Christmas market set up in front of Stiftskirche in Kaiserslautern offers many food specialties, the traditional Glühwein and a merry-go-round for children.

Photo by City of Kaiserslautern
The Christmas market set up in front of Stiftskirche in Kaiserslautern offers many food specialties, the traditional Glühwein and a merry-go-round for children.

Lord Mayor Dr. Klaus Weichel will officially open the market at 6 p.m. Monday at the stage on Schillerplatz. The market will continue through Dec. 22, and then continue as New Year’s market from Dec. 27 to 30.

Each day, the Christmas market will offer an entertainment program.

“It is very important to us that the entertaining program shows tradition and continuity,” said Alexander Hess from the project office for city events.

A variety of music bands and carol singers will perform on the stage on Schillerplatz. Performers will be Stephan Flesch and Markus Ziegler, Rick Cheyenne and Volker Klimmer.

The diversified program will reach from Christmas music to wonderful rhythms from all over the world. Artisans and sculptors will present their creative works. On Thursdays, animals from the Kaiserslautern Zoo will create a Nativity scene.

“Those looking for Christmas presents will have fun Nov. 30, when stores will offer Sunday shopping from
1 to 6 p.m.,” Hess said.

The Kaiserslautern Christ-mas market will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; on Sundays the market will be open from 1 to 10 p.m. Christmas markets in smaller towns usually don’t open until the afternoon.

The history of Christmas markets dates back to the 14th century. After farmers had sold their crop, they paid their workers. After attending worship services during Advent, those workers spent their money right away at little markets set up around the church.

The most common items offered were sweets and toys. There were also craftsmen selling baskets, pottery, spices, clothes and Christmas tree ornaments.

Christmas markets in the KMC and nearby:

Τ Alsenz, Dec. 6 and 7

Τ Bann, Dec. 13 and 14

Τ Bruchmühlbach, Nov. 30

Τ Eisenberg, Nov. 28 to 30

Τ Enkenbach-Alsenborn, Nov. 29 and 30

Τ Erzenhausen, Nov. 30

Τ Eulenbis, Dec. 14

Τ Falkenstein Castle (north of Winnweiler), Dec. 13 and 14

Τ Frankenstein, Nov. 29 and 30

Τ Glan-Münchweiler, Dec. 6

Τ Hauptstuhl, Dec. 13

Τ Hermersberg, Nov. 29

Τ Hirschhorn, Nov. 29

Τ Hochspeyer, Dec. 6 and 7

Τ Homburg, Nov. 28 to Dec. 7

Τ Kaiserslautern, Nov. 24 to Dec. 23; and Dec. 27 to Dec. 30

Τ Katzweiler, Dec. 6

Τ Kindsbach, Dec. 6 and 7

Τ Kirchheimbolanden, Dec. 5 to 7

Τ Krickenbach, Dec. 6

Τ Kollweiler, Dec. 13

Τ Kübelberg, Dec. 13 and 14

Τ Kusel, Dec. 12 to 14

Τ Kusel, Lichtenberg Castle (medieval Christmas market), Nov. 29 and 30

Τ Landstuhl, Nov. 29 and 30; Dec. 12 to 15

Τ Linden, Dec. 6

Τ Mackenbach, Dec. 13

Τ Mittelbrunn, Dec. 13

Τ Neuhemsbach, Schlossberg: Nov. 29 and 30

Τ Neuleiningen, Nov. 29 and 30; Dec. 6 and 7

Τ Niederkirchen, Dec. 6

Τ Obermoschel, Nov. 29 and 30

Τ Obernheim-Kirchenarnbach, Dec. 6 and 7

Τ Olsbrücken, Nov. 24

Τ Otterbach, Nov. 29 and 30

Τ Otterberg, Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 13 and 14 (children’s market), and Dec. 20

Τ Queidersbach, Nov. 21 and 22

Τ Ramsen, Dec. 6 and 7

Τ Ramstein-Miesenbach, Dec. 5 to 7

Τ Reichenbach-Steegen, Dec. 6 and 7

Τ Rockenhausen, Nov. 28 to 30

Τ Rodalben, Nov. 29 and 30

Τ Rodenbach, Nov. 28 and 29

Τ Schallodenbach, Dec. 6 and 7

Τ Schneckenhausen, Nov. 29 and 30

Τ Schopp, Nov. 29 and 30

Τ Schwedelbach, Dec. 6 and 7

Τ Stelzenberg, Nov. 29

Τ Steinbach/Glan, Nov. 30

Τ Sulzbachtal, Dec. 7

Τ Trippstadt, House of Sustainability, Johanniskreuzer Strasse 1, Romantic Forest Christmas, Dec. 13 and 14

Τ Waldmohr, Dec. 5 to 7

Τ Weilerbach, Nov. 29 to Dec. 7

Τ Winnweiler, Nov. 29 and 30

 

Other Christmas markets in Germany:

Τ Ansbach, Nov. 26 to Dec. 24

Τ Aschaffenburg, Nov. 27 to Dec. 22

Τ Augsburg, Nov. 24 to Dec. 24

Τ Baden-Baden, Nov. 24 to Dec. 30

Τ Bad Bergzabern, Dec. 5 to 7; Dec. 12 to 14

Τ Bad Dürkheim, Nov. 29 and 30

Τ Bad Münster am Stein/Ebernburg, Nov. 29 and 30; Dec. 6 and 7; Dec. 13 and 14; Dec. 20 and 21

Τ Bad Kreuznach, Nov. 21 to Dec. 21 (closed Nov. 23)

Τ Bamberg, Nov. 27 to Dec. 23

Τ Baumholder, Dec. 5 and 6

Τ Berlin, Gendarmenmarkt, Nov. 24 Dec. 31

Τ Bernkastel-Kues/Mosel, Nov. 22 to Dec. 21 (closed Nov. 23)

Τ Bingen, Dec. 12 to 14

Τ Bitburg, Dec. 3 to 14

Τ Cochem/Mosel, Nov. 20 to Dec. 14 (closed Nov. 23)

Τ Cochem, Reichsburg Castle, Dec. 13 and 14

Τ Darmstadt, Nov. 24 to Dec. 23

Τ Deidesheim/German Wine Street, Nov. 28 to 30; Dec. 5 to 7; Dec. 12 to14, and Dec. 19 to 21

Τ Dresden, Nov. 28 to Dec. 24

Τ Frankfurt, Nov. 26 to Dec. 22

Τ Freiburg, Nov. 24 to Dec. 23

Τ Freinsheim/German Wine Street, Nov. 29 and 30; Dec. 6 and 7; Dec. 13 and 14; Dec. 20 and 21

Τ Garmisch, Nov. 29 to Dec. 24

Τ Grünstadt, Nov. 28 to 30; Dec. 5 to 7; Dec. 12 to 14

Τ Hauenstein, Dec. 5 to 7

Τ Heidelberg, Nov. 24 to Dec. 22

Τ Idar-Oberstein, Nov. 29 and 30 in Oberstein (Schloss); Dec. 5 to 7 in Idar

Τ Karlsruhe, Nov. 27 to Dec. 23

Τ Kirchheimbolanden, Dec. 5 to 7

Τ Koblenz, Nov. 21 to Dec. 22 (closed Nov. 23)

Τ Köln, Nov. 24 to Dec. 23

Τ Landau, Nov. 27 to Dec. 21

Τ Leipzig, Nov. 25 to Dec. 22

Τ Ludwigshafen, Nov. 21 to Dec. 22 (closed Nov. 23)

Τ Mainz, Nov. 27 to Dec. 23

Τ Mannheim, Nov. 26 to Dec. 23

Τ Michelstadt, Nov. 28 to Dec. 21

Τ München, Nov. 27 to Dec. 24

Τ Neustadt/German Wine Street, Nov. 21 to Dec. 22

Τ Nürnberg, Nov. 28 to Dec. 24

Τ Pirmasens, Nov. 28 to Dec. 23

Τ Potsdam, Nov. 24 to Dec. 28

Τ Regensburg, Nov. 27 to Dec. 23

Τ Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Nov. 28 to Dec. 23

Τ Rüdesheim, Nov. 24 to Dec. 21

Τ Saarbrücken, Nov. 24 Dec. 23

Τ Saarlouis, Nov. 28 to Dec. 23

Τ Speyer, Nov. 24 to Dec. 23; Dec. 27 to 30; Jan. 2 to 6

Τ St. Martin/German Wine Street, Dec. 6 and 7

Τ Stuttgart, Nov. 26 to Dec. 23

Τ St. Wendel, Dec. 6 to 14

Τ Traben-Trarbach (underground market), Nov. 28 to Jan. 4 (closed Dec. 24, 25 and 31)

Τ Trier, Nov. 24 to Dec. 22

Τ Wachenheim, Dec. 6 and 7; Dec. 13 and 14

Τ Wiesbaden, Nov. 25 to Dec. 23

Τ Worms, Nov. 24 to Dec. 23

Τ Würzburg, Nov. 28 to Dec. 23

Τ Zweibrücken, Dec. 5 to 7; Dec. 12 to 14

 

Christmas markets in France:

Τ Colmar, Nov. 21 to Dec. 31

Τ Metz, Nov. 22 to Dec. 28

Τ Strasbourg, Nov. 28 to Dec. 31

Τ Wissembourg, Nov. 29 and 30; Dec. 6 and 7; Dec. 13 and 14; Dec. 20 and 21

 

Those Christmas markets opening today or Saturday will be closed Sunday for a religious memorial day, Totensonntag.