lunedì 20 dicembre 2021

A Brief Story of Christkindlmärkten (Christmas Markets)

Our story begins in the late Middle Ages in parts of the former Holy Roman Empire.

The Christmas Fair by Georg von Rosen (1843-1923)

The precursor to Christmas markets is thought to be Vienna’s Dezembermarkt (December Market), dating back to around 1296. Emperor Albrecht I granted shopkeepers the rights to hold a market for a day or two in early winter so that townspeople could stock up on supplies to last through the cold months.Wintermärkte (Winter markets) began to spring up all over Europe.
Over time, local families started setting up stalls to sell baskets, toys, and woodcarvings alongside others selling almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread. These were often bought as gifts to give away at Christmas.

It was the winter markets that eventually became known as Christmas Markets—the earliest of which are claimed to be born in Germany: the very first were those held in Munich in around 1310, Bautzen in 1384, and Frankfurt in 1393. But Dresden’s Strietzelmarkt may have been the first real Christmas Market, dating from 1434. Today, during the lead up to Christmas, most towns of moderate size across the German-speaking world have a Christmas market.

Cristmas Market by Genrich Manizer (1847-1925) 

Christmas Market by Anton Pieck (1895- 1987)

Selling Christmas Trees by David Jacobsen (1821-1871)

Still today Christmas markets have a particular charm since they combine the fascination of the traditions with the allurement of an open-air marketplace, they help us rekindle the enchantment of our childhood memories...
Something magic happens at this time of year all across Northern Europe, especially in Germany and Austria; pretty little stalls huddle together, filled with glistening decorations, handmade figurines, and local products; the sounds of children’s laughter, sleigh bells, and choir singers fill the night air.
Mouth-watering aromas of sizzling 'bratwurst', gingerbread, and toasted almonds waft through the stalls.

(All these shots were taken two years ago in Salzburg during the Christmas period)

Actually, nowadays, during the lead up to Christmas, most towns of moderate size across the German-speaking world have a Christmas market.
Several cities in the UK, US and Canada also hold Christmas markets, where visitors can enjoy traditional foods like Zwetschgenmännle (figures made of decorated dried plums), Nussknacker (carved Nutcrackers), Gebrannte Mandeln (candied, toasted almonds), and freshly-grilled Bratwurst. Favorite beverages include Glühwein (hot mulled wine), Eierpunsch (an egg-based warm alcoholic drink) and Apfelwein (hot cider).
More regional food specialties include Christstollen (Stollen), a sort of egg bread with candied fruit from Saxony, and Frankfurter Bethmännchen a sweet made from marzipan, rose water and almonds originally from Hesse.
And there is still no shortage of other handmade items, toys, books, Christmas tree decorations and other ornaments that set the atmosphere of these days. 


Take a smile,
give it to those who have never had it.
Take a ray of sunshine,
let it fly where the night reigns.
Discover a spring,
make those who live in mud get wet.
Take a tear,
pass it on the face of someone who has never cried.
Take the courage,
put it in the soul of those who do not know how to fight.
Discover life,
tell it to those who don't know how to understand it.
Take the hope
and live in her light.
Take the goodness
and give it to those who cannot give.
Discover love
and make it known to the world.

- Mahatma Gandhi


See you soon ❤

Breve storia dei Christkindlmärkten (Mercatini di Natale)

La nostra storia inizia nel tardo Medioevo in alcune parti di quello che fu il Sacro Romano Impero.

- IMMAGINE 1 - The Christmas Fair by Georg von Rosen (1843-1923)

Si pensa che il precursore dei Mercatini di Natale sia il Dezembermarkt (Mercato di dicembre) di Vienna, risalente al 1296 circa. L'imperatore Albrecht I concesse ai negozianti il ​​diritto di tenere aperto un mercato per un giorno o due all'inizio dell'inverno in modo che i cittadini potessero fare scorta di provviste che consentissero loro di sopravvivere ai mesi freddi. Da allora i Wintermärkte (Mercati invernali) cominciarono a fiorire in tutta Europa.
Nel corso del tempo, le famiglie locali iniziarono ad allestire bancarelle per vendere cestini, giocattoli e sculture in legno insieme ad altre che vendevano mandorle, caldarroste e pan di zenzero, tutti articoli che spesso venivano acquistati come regali da donare a Natale.

Furono i mercatini invernali che alla fine divennero noti come Mercatini di Natale, i primi dei quali si dice siano nati in Germania: i primissimi furono quelli tenuti a Monaco intorno al 1310, a Bautzen nel 1384 e a Francoforte nel 1393. Ma lo Strietzelmarkt di Dresda potrebbe essere stato il ​​primo vero Mercatino di Natale, risalente al 1434. Oggi, durante il periodo precedente il Natale, la maggior parte delle città di medie dimensioni in tutto il mondo in cui si parla la lingua tedesca ha il proprio Mercatino di Natale.

- IMMAGINE 2 - Cristmas Market by Genrich Manizer (1847-1925) 

- IMMAGINE 3 - Christmas Market by Anton Pieck (1895- 1987)

- IMMAGINE 4 - Selling Christmas Trees by David Jacobsen (1821-1871)

Ancora oggi i Mercatini di Natale conservano un fascino particolare poiché uniscono l'incanto delle tradizioni al carisma che avvolge un mercatino all'aperto, ci aiutano a riaccendere la maga dei nostri ricordi d'infanzia...
Qualcosa di prodigioso e suggestivo accade in questo periodo dell'anno in tutto il Nord Europa, soprattutto in Germania ed Austria.
Graziose bancarelle si accalcano insieme, piene di decorazioni scintillanti, figurine fatte a mano e prodotti locali; i suoni delle risate dei bambini, delle campane delle slitte e dei cantanti di cori riempiono l'aria della notte.
Aromi appetitosi di Bratwurst croccanti, pan di zenzero e mandorle tostate si diffondono tra una bancarella e l'altra.

- IMMAGINE 5 , 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 - Fotografie scattate a Salisburgo due anni fa durante il periodo natalizio

In realtà, al giorno d'oggi, durante il periodo che precede il Natale, la maggior parte delle città di dimensioni moderate in tutto il mondo di cultura tedesca ha un mercatino di Natale.
Anche numerose città nel Regno Unito, negli Stati Uniti e in Canada tengono mercatini di Natale dove i visitatori possono gustare cibi tradizionali come Zwetschgenmännle (figurine fatte di prugne secche decorate), Nussknacker (schiaccianoci intagliati), Gebrannte Mandeln (mandorle candite e tostate) e wurstel. Le bevande preferite includono Glühwein (vin brulé caldo), Eierpunsch (una bevanda alcolica calda a base di uova) e Apfelwein (sidro caldo).
Altre specialità gastronomiche tradizionali includono il Christstollen (Stollen), una sorta di pane all'uovo con frutta candita della Sassonia, e il Frankfurter Bethmännchen, un dolce a base di marzapane, acqua di rose e mandorle originario dell'Assia.
E continuano a non mancare molti altri oggetti fatti a mano, giocattoli, libri, decorazioni per l'albero di Natale e altri ornamenti che fanno l'atmosfera di questi giorni.


Prendi un sorriso,
regalalo a chi non lo ha mai avuto.
Prendi un raggio di sole,
fallo volare là dove regna la notte.
Scopri una sorgente,
fa bagnare chi vive nel fango.
Prendi una lacrima,
passala sul volto di chi non ha mai pianto.
Prendi il coraggio,
mettilo nell'animo di chi non sa lottare.
Scopri la vita,
raccontala a chi non sa capirla.
Prendi la speranza
e vivi nella sua luce.
Prendi la bontà
e donala a chi non sa donare.
Scopri l'amore
e fallo conoscere al mondo.

- Mahatma Gandhi



This article was featured by Laurie! Thank you Dearie, 
this is such a surprise and such a wonderful
 gift to me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart ❥

44 commenti:

  1. Risposte
    1. Azka Kamil,
      I heartily thank you, I'm sincerely glad you liked the article!
      Wishing a wonder-filled remainder of your week ∗✿≫♥≪✿∗

  2. Risposte
    1. Lillian,
      The beauty of these markets is thet they're still like they were so many years ago, they make past re-live, become true... they're filled with magic, believe me!
      May all your long-cherished dreams come true this Christmas. With love and warmth of heart,
      I'm wishing you a very Merry Christmas, sweet friend ☆:*♥*♥*:☆

  3. Just as fun and exciting then as they are now. How wonderful.

    Thank you for joining the Awww Mondays Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Awww Monday and week. Big hug. ♥

    1. Sandee,
      You're right, they're truly wonderful!
      I wish for happiness to surround you and yours this Holiday Season, Dearie, and may you feel Love and Joy like never before.
      Happy Christmas ✻ღ*✷*ღ✻

  4. grazie mille per questo post affascinante e per queste vecchie foto che testimoniano le nostre vecchie tradizioni

    1. kwartkito,
      Grazie a te per la bellissima visita e le parole di apprezzamento.
      E che il tuo Natale porti con sé ciò che il tuo cuore desidera ❥

  5. How interesting!
    Thanks so much for sharing this with us at

    1. NCSue,
      I'm sincerely glad you've enjoyed it, dear friend!
      May this Holy Season be full of true miracles and love for you,
      always •♥•╰☆╮•♥•

  6. Risposte
    1. Rehoboth Organic,
      I’m so, so glad to read your lovely words of appreciation, thank you, you’re so welcome, new friend of mine!
      Have a magical Holiday Season ♡❤♡

  7. Thank you to like my bay area decor and thank for the comment. Such a beautiful post you have shared. Happy Christmas 🎄 season. 💕 To you

    1. Crystal Grandeur,
      It's laways such a joy to welcome you here, Dearie!
      Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful Christmas.
      May Peace, Love, Prosperity follow you always ✿⊰✽⊱✿

  8. A lovely Post, I enjoyed reading so much. Thank you for sharing.

    Merry Christmas - I hope your days are blessed.

    1. EricaSta,
      I welcome you with a big hug and thank you heartily for your words of enjoyment about the article you've just read!
      Thanking you for your good wishes, as well,
      I wish you that whatever is beautiful, whatever is meaningful, whatever brings you happiness, may it be yours this Holiday Season
      and throughout the coming year ♫♪☆❄☃❄☆♪♫

  9. The Christmas Markets all over Europe have always fascinated me. Everything always looks magical. I suppose, though, it will be different this year. May your Christmas be a blessed one, Dany, as you celebrate with your loved ones.

    1. Kim,
      sweetest lady of mine, Christmas Markets are something that can hardly express by words, you have to feel the atmosphere they emanate, to breath it... They let you a make a jump back in time, since just a little has changed throughout the centuries, it's almost incredible, but it's true!
      Alas, for two years everything is quite different, as you say and can imagine, but let's hope that soon our lives could come back as we were used to live them.
      Wishing you a Holiday filled with fun and laughter and sending very best wishes for a fabulous year to come ☆:*´¨`*:☆

  10. Un post che è dall'inizio alla fine poesia! un inno al valore delle tradizioni che ci impediscono di essere catturati dal vortice del consumismo più estremo e ci accompagnano nell'ammirare la bellezza e la luce delle decorazioni natalizie di questi particolari mercatini, che sono Arte del Cuore, come li vedo io!
    A questo proposito, vorrei segnalarti un altro DVD magnifico! e in tema : "La soffiatrice di vetro" film tedesco del 2016 regia di Christiane Balthasar , un ricamo prezioso di romanticismo (forse lo conosci già)
    Auguri e un abbraccio gioioso, natalizio !

    1. Franca,
      Grazie per il nuovo suggerimento, conosco la trama e mi affascina molto, ma non ho ancora avuto occasione di vedere il film e non mi è neppure mai balenata l'idea di acquistarlo... ci farò un pensiero sopra!
      E grazie ancora per le bellissime, stupende parole con cui sempre commenti i miei post, mi doni una gioia indescrivibile!
      Posso dirti che per me non sarebbe Natale senza di te!
      Sono così felice di averti nella mia vita, anno dopo anno.
      Ti auguro che il bagliore delle candele natalizie illumini le tue giornate di festa ed il tuo cuore.
      Buon Natale, mia dolce ✻ღღ✻

  11. Our City has Paderborn, Germany as its official Sister City. Every year except for when the pandemic started we have a Christmas market down in the town center, we went to it last weekend :)
    Pretty poem you had at the end.
    Wishing you and your family a lovely and Merry Christmas!

    1. Conniecrafter,
      I'm glad that you may enjoy the atmosphere of these special, magical Christmas Markets in the USA!
      Wishing you and your dear ones too a blessed Christmas,
      May all your long-cherished dreams come true!
      With love and warmth of heart,
      Merry Christmas, Dearie ಌ•❤•ಌ

  12. Daniela - lovely photographs to go with the historical information. With your description, I can easily hear and smell a market. I would like to go someday. Merry Christmas to you, and thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

    1. Angie,
      I heartily thank you for your words, you let me understand that probably I was able to make you feel the atmosphere which surrounds you in such magical places, you seem to be in a fairy-tale!
      I hope your Holiday Season is full of Peace, Joy and Happiness, may the true Spirit of Christmas shine in your heart and light your path ∗⊱༺♡❀♡༻⊰∗

  13. Oh yes the charm of the European Christmas markets so pretty and lovely to learn a little more of their history! One of the hotels in Bangkok has a Christmas market theme!
    Happy Holidays

    1. Little Wandering Wren,
      Thank you for this visit of yours!
      Wishing you too a most Blessed and Joy-fillled Christmas ever ♥♡♥

  14. ...I just saw a show on TV about Europe's Christmas Markets, they are some thing that we don't have here.

    1. Tom,
      During these last months I've known you a little, ans probably I'm not mistaken if I say that I'm sure you'd love them such a lot!
      I hope you have a fantastic Christmas and a Happy New Year,
      sweet friend ∗✿≫♥≪✿∗

  15. It would certainly be more fun to shop there than in the huge "big box stores" we have here.

    Happy Christmas!

    1. messymimi,
      Oh, that's sure, Dearie!
      Thanking you for your good wishes,
      I hope that may the Holiday Season fill your home with Joy, your heart with Love, and your life with laughters •♥•╰☆╮•♥•

  16. Dany, I loved hearing about the Christmas markets. I have always wanted to visit one (or many!) and now I wonder if that will ever happen. The paintings you used to illustrate the post touched me, especially the Anton Pieck, as my mother was quite a fan of his art (and me, too!). Merriest of Christmases to you. Is it Buon Natale (I hope I didn't mess that up too much!). I'm so glad you have started blogging again and I so appreciate each and every visit you make to Marmelade Gypsy. ~ jeanie

    1. Jeanie,
      I'm so glad to read that your mother and you love Anton Pieck's art, I'm thinking to write a post about him, his paintings are truly enchanting, aren't they?!?
      Dearie, it wouldn’t be Christmas without you!
      I'm so glad to have you in my life, year after year, your far precious friendship is so meaningful and important to me, it's truly a blessing to my heart!
      May the closeness of your loved ones, family, and friends, fill your heart with deep Joy.
      Merry Christmas adorable lady from the deep of my heart ✻ღ*✷*ღ✻

  17. What an interesting post, Daniela. I've always wanted to visit a Christmas market - it has been on my bucket list since forever! Dang covid-19!

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Veronica Lee,
      Believe me dear, they're truly filled with magic, at lesat once in your life you have to try such an experience!
      Hoping you had a wonderful Christmas,
      I'm sending blessings on the remainder of your Holidays ஜ♥♡♥ஜ

  18. I would love to go to your Christmas Market. Love the vintage art at the beginning. Merry Christmas!

    1. Carol @Comfort Spring Station
      Thank you Dearie!
      Wishing you Holiday celebrations filled with lots of fun,
      surprises, and magic ☆:*♥*♥*:☆

  19. Dear Dany, it's been so long ... what a lovely surprise to see your comment on my blog !
    Enjoyed reading this interesting story about Christmas markets !
    Merry Christmas ! Wishing you all the best this holiday season !

    1. Sylvia,
      Dearest One, what a big joy this comment of yours!
      I came back to Blogland at the end of last Winter, exactly on February 18th when I published the article about the book I wrote during the years I was busy with historic researches and collecting everything which was necessary to bring back to life a story that nobody never wanted to tell, even today: that of the love of Rudolf of Habsburg and a Russian Princess, illegitimate daughter of Czar Alexander II, the fruit of which was a child born in America. My book tells the story of this love and of the life of this child, became a wonderful man -a true example to follow- until his death.
      When I came back I tried to visit all the blog friends I left here, but most of them didn't blog anymore, alas, but if I don't remember bad I came to visit you, but probably my comment didn't appear, I wonder why...
      Anyway, since then I didn't receive any update from you on my dashboard anymore, that's why I thought you gave up with your blog. Fortunately you posted an article a few days ago, and I came at once, so we've found ourselves again!
      In the hope you spent a magic Christmastide,
      I'm wishing you a most wonderful New Year *♡ஐ♡*
      P.S.: The title of my historical essay is "IL FIGLIO AMERICANO DI RODOLFO D'ASBURGO" and at the moment it's still available only in Italian.
      You can find it everywhere on the web, if you'd love to buy it, and this is the blog-post where I introduced it: click HERE if you want to read it.

  20. The markets sound like fun! I hope all your holidays are lovely.

    1. Linda,
      These markets are filled with such a magic atmosphere, believe me, you breath the true Spirit of Christmas there!
      Hoping you too are enjoying a wonderful Holiday Season,
      I'm sending blessings on your coming new year *•♥☆♥•*

  21. Congratulations for your post being featured this week at the Homestead Blog Hop!

    I did enjoy reading about this. I found it very interesting.

    Have a great week!
    Ridge Haven Homestead

    1. Laurie,
      As I wrote on your Blog, my heart filled with joy to overflowing when I read your comment about this article of mine: the first aknoledgment I receive from you at the last party of the year!
      I have no words which to thank you with!
      And I'm so thrilled at the idea that a new blog-hop is coming in a few day, the Sunday Sunshine Blog Hop is waitig for us in the new year!
      In the hope you enjoyed your Christmas, I'm sending my very best wishes for a fabulous year to come!
      Thanking you once again ✥*⊰♥⊱*✥

  22. Risposte
    1. Violet,
      I heartily thank you, you're so welcome!
      Wishing you a most wonderful end of your week ❀≼♥≽❀