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The German Market

By Sienna Bailey

Posted: 22nd November 2016 09:13

The biggest Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria is the Frankfurt Christmas Market, which has been a staple of the festivities in Birmingham for 50 years. However, Christmas markets in Germany have been a big part of German culture for centuries. The Frankfurt Market itself dates back to 1393. Historically they were meant for religious purposes, set up outside on the church square as a way to attract people to church services. However, they ended up doing the opposite of what they were supposed to as the visitors found the market more enthralling than the church! These places were regarded as a joyful distraction from the cold winter days and a big part of social life for many Germans as an opportunity to gather together to chat and gossip with their neighbours. They were also the primary place where Germans would come to buy their Christmas gifts for friends and family. Today, Christmas markets remain a huge part of Christmas festivities in Germany and some have expanded across the continent to bring the best of German produce to Europe. The Frankfurt Christmas Market in particular is one of the most famous in Germany and has branched out to several towns and cities in the UK. Birmingham was the first city to host one.

Brummies and visitors from all over come to enjoy a taste of German cuisine and marvel at the beautiful assortment of traditional gifts and decorations on offer. Drink a cup of hot gluhwein in a santa-shaped mug while walking around the 120 wooden stalls and sampling authentic German food from Pretzels to Schnitzels. Discover a unique range of lovely hand-crafted items from wooden toys, leatherworks and rock crystal lamps. There is live music performed throughout the day to suit everyone’s mood, from traditional carols played by the CBSO Brass Quintet to more modern tunes from A Little Bit of Buble. Adjacent to the main market is the Christmas Craft Market, where you can find an even more varied selection of fantastic stalls selling arts and crafts from traders across Birmingham. There is plenty to buy from handmade soaps to ironwork and musical instruments. You will see many ethnic goods imported from places such as Africa, India and South America. Also there to look forward to are the ice rink and the big wheel which are returning this year outside Symphony Hall. The market opens on the 17th November and for the first time will be open through the Christmas period up until the 29th December, leaving you even more time to enjoy it. 

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