‘Tis the season. Germany’s famous Christmas market are in full force in every city in the country. In the next couple of weeks we’ll be featuring them in all their twinkle-lit glory.
There’s nothing like the German Christmas market atmosphere. I remember the first time I had the chance to experience it back in 2009, when I found myself immersed in the wonderful Christmas market of Hamburg. I remember that evening like it was yesterday because it was then that I really started to fall in love with Germany. After this experience, I tried to spend all my holidays and time in this country, as well as learning more about Germans and their culture.
In under 48 hours, I will be celebrating my third Christmas in Germany. Most of my friends are still mildly surprised that I don’t go back to my mum’s for the festivities: Christmas is, after all, supposed to be the time when people return home to see their family to be treated like big kids by their parents.
However, I think it would be a shame to live in Germany and miss out on Christmas here, which, thanks to the Weihnachtsmärkte, extensive pine forests, and the invention of the word Gemütlichkeit really does have a head-start on all things Christmassy.
It’s that time of year again: shoppers are out in hordes, white twinkle lights abound, and everybody who’s anybody has something to say about the state of the weather—which in Germany in December would be a resounding “Brrrrrr.” Tis’ the season to be freezing, but German cities have a delightful solution to cold hands and feet, a tried-and-true formula for rosy-cheeked cheer, and an aestetically pleasant way to hack off ye old Christmas shopping list: the Christmas Market. And be they tourist, transplant, or Teutonic, no one can seem to get enough.
The British pub crawl is a much maligned thing. Probably because the word “crawl” implies that the participants are unable to walk between pubs, the pub crawl is generally interpreted by British people as an excuse to get absolutely hammered, and is therefore associated by our European neighbors with nothing more than drunkenness and debauchery of the worse, most British kind.
Yet as Brit living in Germany, I can point to a shining example of how the British Pub Crawl can actually contribute to rather than irreparably damage relations between my fair home country and our long-suffering continental neighbors. How do I manage this amazing feat of social integration? What glue do I use to make this diametrically opposed… er, thing stick? Well, it’s a mixture of mulled wine, cinnamon-flavored goodies and the Spirit of Yuletide itself.
The Aschaffenburg Weihnachtsmarkt is sublimely located at the foot of the sandstone castle Schloss Johannisburg, which provides a dramatic backdrop to the festivities below. On this day the market is quiet, and snow serenely and silently tumbles to earth in plump snowflakes. My heart is warm and my eyes are aglow with Christmas cheer. This is my favorite Christmas market yet. Castles, Christmas, and snow: It doesn’t get any better than that in Germany in December.