This article originally appeared online in AAA Home & Away in December 2016.
German-inspired Christmas markets are popping up across the U.S.
Glittering lights reflecting off the snow. The smell of hot spiced wine and gingerbread. The sound of Christmas carols and the jingle of bells. German-inspired Christmas markets are popular throughout the U.S. and are perfect way to usher in the holiday season and get into the Christmas spirit.
The original Christkindlesmarkt dates to the mid-1500s in Nuremburg, Germany. Originally a way for folks to stock up on food and supplies for the long, cold winter months, the markets soon became part of the gift-giving tradition surrounding Christmas.
In Germany, Austria and parts of Eastern Europe, the traditional gift-bearer is the Christkind (Christ child), a golden-haired angel dressed in white and gold and usually depicted as a female. The German Christkindlesmarkt opens each year with the appearance of the Christkind, who reads a prologue and welcomes guests to the holiday season.
While markets traditionally ran only during Advent, most now begin Thanksgiving weekend (or sooner) and run until Christmas Eve.
Christmas markets are an ideal place to get into the Christmas spirit. Click here to open the full article and read more about Christmas markets in Chicago, Washington, DC and Denver.