Photographer's Note

Each year Christmas Markets spring up around Germany in the weeks before the Christmas holidays, signalling the beginning of Advent.

The centuries-old tradition reaches back to a time when regular seasonal markets took place throughout the year. The first Christmas Markets were little more than winter markets that lasted a couple of days.

Usually, the Christmas Markets were held around the city’s main church to attract church-goers. But they were so enticing that a priest in Nürnberg in 1616 complained that he could not hold the Martin Lutherafternoon service on Christmas Eve because no one attended.
It is likely that the Christmas Markets drew more visitors when religious reformer Martin Luther instituted new customs for Christmas. Before Luther, the exchanging of presents took place on the saint days of St. Nicholas, December 6, or of St. Martin, on November 11.

It was Luther who suggested that children receive presents from “the Christ child,” hence the name “Christkindlsmarkt,” a popular name for many Christmas Markets especially in the south of Germany.

For more: The History of Christmas Markets

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Additional Photos by Janos Sofalvi (joso) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 754 W: 206 N: 378] (2417)
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