Thursday, 8 January 2009

The Spirit of Christmas Fair in London and Reminiscing on German Christmas Markets (especially the Nürnberger Christkindlmarkt)

(Originally posted on Novemver 8th, 2008)

ust about every year I feel November is a bit too early to think about Christmas (except last year when I had my home decorated in November!!).

Today, my daughter invited me to a Christmas Fair in London. We both revel in sumptuous festive decorations, so it seemed that going to the ‘Spirit of Christmas Fair’ at ‘Olympia’ would be a brilliant outing for both of us.

I must say that I was a bit disappointed with what I saw. Sure, I was under no illusion that it would not be anything like my native country Germany, where I was used to having an ordinary department store, like Karstadt, brimming with different themes or colour arrangements for various decorations. However, the London fair was woefully amiss of such festive splendour and inspirations.

I managed to find a handful of smaller stalls that had a Christmassy theme:



The rest was like going to a high street department store enticing people to buy Christmas presents, well, goods available all year round as potential presents for Christmas.


One stall actually was promoting German decorations, traditional handcrafted wood ornaments from the Erzgebirge

Of course this made me reminisce on especially the South German Christmas traditions, such as the Nürnberg Christkindlesmarkt. (Nürnberg has family history for me, such as my mother was born there).


The Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt (28. November to 24. December) is rather special. It’s a very traditional, centuries old street market with traditional, almost old fashioned goodies. Walking around the cold wintery air, clutching a cup of hot spicy aromatic red wine, Gühwein, deliciously accosted by wafts of freshly roasted sugar and butter almonds, sizzling sausages from the many bratwurst stalls, and Lebkuchen and Christstollen beckoning, the atmosphere is filled with hustling, bustling shoppers, friends mingling around, children eager to go on the various fair rides, traditional Christmas carols being piped through loudspeakers, even in the surrounding streets.

Ahh, and of course the many Christmas decoration stalls bursting with their delightful ware.

Below I post some impressions of the Nürnberg Christkindlesmarkt.

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