Text and photos by: Nina Sarmiento
One of the things that I actually enjoyed when I went to Munich was visiting one of the most popular and festive Christmas markets in Germany.
The Christmas market is a centuries-old tradition in Germany, and is usually located either in a town square or a medieval castle. The first German Christmas markets were held in the 14th century, with farmers and artisans selling food and practical supplies for the winter seasons, with the whole community partaking of the spirit of the holiday season.
The first Christmas market in Munich was held in 1642, with farmers, craftsmen and bakers selling their famous gingerbread and manger figurines. There were also some singing and dancing in the streets.
That tradition lived on. These days, here’s how Christmas is being celebrated Munich. On the first week of Advent (usually in the last week of November), the Munich residents don’t just light up the wreaths. The Old Town Square was illuminated and decorated with a scene from a nativity scene, Christmas trees and even a snowman.
The Christmas market in Munich lasts until Christmas Eve, with the market open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. I’m a sweet tooth so I love buying and eating in the Christmas market, with vendors selling traditional candies and cookies, like gingerbread and stollen (traditional German Christmas bread filled with dried fruits, nuts and spices laden with sugar icing – yum!!)
There are also other savory delicacies available for sale in Munich’s Christmas market – bratwurts, roasted chestnuts and almonds and even grilled sausages. But my personal favorite is the Gluhwein – mulled wine – warm and spicey, the perfect beverage to stave of the chilly winter breeze. Plus I get to keep the mug (specially decorated for the Christmas).
The market is not only for the foodies as the market also sells handmade decors, Christmas trees and toys.
I have been to several Christmas markets in Europe – in Barcelona, Toulouse, Cork, and Constance. The concept is the same but they are different in their own way and yes, I still haven't got enough of it and I plan to go to every Christmas market whereever I travel/stay on Christmas season.