It is that time of the year when the magic of lights and the scent of gingerbread cookies is in the air. Well, it is almost Christmas and unarguably the most beautiful time of the year. A time for gifting, indulgence and a whole lot of fun, Christmas is sure a feeling than just a day or a festival. And one place where you can experience the magic of Yuletide is Germany. German cities from Berlin to Bonn and Frankfurt to Munich, transform into a ‘Christmassy’ world that is nothing short of a fairytale. Read on to find out more:
Dazzling Lights – From train stations and markets to streets and store fronts, resplendent lights slowly take over every corner of the country. Most cities and towns are decked up with breathtaking light installations and Christmas decor thats reflect the mood of the season and adds to the festive cheer. From twinkling fairy lights to candles and bulbs, they exude glow and warmth quite like no other.
Period of Advent – The period of Advent is observed with great fervour in Germany and is a time of spiritual reflection and renewal which starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas eve. It is a deeply revered tradition wherein Advent wreaths with four candles are kept in houses and churches. Each candle is lit on each of the four Sundays preceding Christmas. Advent calendars are popular too and many of them are made by hand even today. With a little gift each day until Christmas eve, an Advent calendar is an essential part of the festivities, along with mulled wine and cookies.
Christmas Markets – arguably the best part of the Christmas celebrations, Christmas markets in Germany are a tradition that dates back centuries. With hundreds of markets happening across cities and towns in the country, they are indeed a great place to visit to soak in the spirit of the festivities. Adorably decorated chalets sell everything right from Christmas ornaments to handmade cheese which makes these markets worth a visit. Glass baubles, lanterns, candles, leather goods, jewellery, woollens, ceramic…the list is almost endless. With plenty of options, they are sure a favourite with the old and young alike!
These markets are the perfect place to pick up some ecofriendly decorations too. These are made mostly of wood and paper.
Delectable Local Fare: Apart from mulled wine, Christmas time in Germany is a great one to sample some local specialities. Take time to try out some delicious gingerbread, candy apples, Christmas stollen and hot chestnuts. Do not Gebrannte Mandeln (German candied almonds) that come in a plethora of flavours like sugar, vanilla, nutella, yoghurt, strawberry and even whisky!