Christkindlesmarkt

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Christkindlesmarkt

Early December through Christmas Eve
Christkindlesmarkt is the biggest and best known of the Christmas markets of Germany. The market in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany, has been held since 1697 in the city's Hauptmarkt ("main market"), the site of the famed 60-foot-high Schöner Brunnen ("beautiful fountain") and the 600-year-old redstone Church of Our Lady. More than 100 booths are set up to offer only goods directly related to Christmas—dolls, wooden soldiers, tinsel angels, picture books, and painted boxes. Food booths sell Nuremberg's specialties— Lebkuchen, or gingerbread, and Zwetschgenmannlein, which are little people-shaped confections made of prunes, figs, and raisins, with heads of painted walnuts. A post office branch is set up to cancel letters with a special stamp, and rides are offered in an old horse-drawn mail coach.
The three-week festival is inaugurated with choral singing, the pealing of church bells, and illumination of a creche. A week or two before Christmas, some 10,000 people parade with lanterns to the Imperial Castle overlooking the city to sing carols. Other major Christmas markets are held in a number of German cities. Munich has the oldest Christmas market; it has been held annually for about 600 years and features daily musical programs. In Rothenburg-on-the Tauber, the market is a month-long "Winter's Tale" of 150 events that include stagecoach rides, plays, and concerts. In Berlin, a miniature village for children is featured.
CONTACTS:
Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt
Congress- und Tourismis-Zentrale
Postfach 42 48
Nuremberg, 90022 Germany
49-91-123-36-166; fax: 49-91-123-36-166
www.christkindlesmarkt.de/english
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 217
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 129
BkHolWrld-1986, Dec 4
EncyChristmas-2003, p. 154
FestWestEur-1958, p. 80
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