Christmas markets, why are they irresistible?
History, tradition and charm of a timeless attraction
Christmas markets are an enchanted place where you dive immediately into the Christmas atmosphere. Their lights and colors, ribbons and packages, unique pieces of craftsmanship, the scent of exquisite local delicacies, the air that smells of snow ... and it's magic at once!
Who has never been to a Christmas market?
We have all been there at least once in our life, during a trip abroad or in our own neighborhood; some "dragged" by a friend's enthusiasm and others, however, who just couldn't wait to walk through the typical wooden houses full of amazing gastronomic products and local crafts, perhaps enjoying a good glass of mulled wine.
For children it is pure joy, considering that often initiatives created specifically for them are offered: from the Santa Claus house to the Disney characters and fairy tales shows.
For adults, the markets are an opportunity to buy something original even though, above all they represent a break from the everyday life to dream and come back to children for a little while.
Where is the tradition of Christmas markets born?
Mainly in Germany and in France; originally they were real fairs where crafts were exhibited, which at that time were quite expensive and not accessible to everyone.
The first written testimony dates back to 1434 in Dresden where on the Monday before the Christmas day a market would be held with the name of Striezelmarkt, later nicknamed Christkindlmarkt ("the market of the child Jesus" name with which even today are indicated the markets Christmas in Germany and Austria).
Dresden is not the only Christmas market of the past, in fact the story also shows the market in Strasbourg (1570) and the one of Nuremberg (1628).
What are the most beautiful Christmas markets?
The spread of the Christmax markets as we know them today in most of the European cities arrives only in the 90s of the century just past, where they soon become not only accessible to everyone, but above all a tourist attraction not to be missed and a great opportunity for artisans and local producers.
In Europe, among the most famous Christmas markets we find not only the historical ones already mentioned, but also those of Vienna, Zurich, Cologne, Augsburg and Paris.
In Italy, among the oldest and certainly to visit are those of Bolzano and Trento.