Christmas Market

in Nuremberg, two




honor souvenirs all the way
ladle balcony square (3)
invite refined bid welcome
hope spotlight concentrate
angel wooden ornament
plum advent handmade
shine kitschy meticulous
fur preserve appearance
reed obligatory mulled wine
snug stand (2) gingerbread







Yang Hong and Yue Feng have come all the way from China to Nuremburg with their families.

Today they’re visiting a German Christmas market for the first time. They’ll be shopping for souvenirs with some friends.

Yue Feng, Tourist: “It’s my pleasure and honor to be here, to join in the ceremony of the opening of the Christmas Market. It’s my honor, with the kids, especially.”

The kids, and thousands of others on the market square, are excited to see the Christ Child, who officially opens the market from the balcony of The Church of Our Lady.

The ceremony hasn’t changed in over 50 years.

The Christ Child invites everyone into the market and bids welcome to one and all.

Behind the church, kids wait for the Christ Child with their wish lists. It’s 17-year-old Franziska Handke second time as the Christ Child.

The job’s not nearly as easy as it looks.

Franziska Handke, Nuremberg Christ Child: “Of course it’s a great feeling . . . but what’s not nice is that you’ve got all those spotlights shining on you from below, so you can hardly see.

I couldn’t see anything at all.

About all that you could do is concentrate on one point somewhere out there and hope for the best.”

This is one of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets. Here, you’ll find traditional, wooden toys; painted angels and modern ornaments.

Much of it might be a bit kitschy — but it’s mostly handmade. Typical are the Zwetschgenmännle, figure made of dried plums, used to decorate living rooms during advent.

Helmut Nordhardt, Market Organizer: “We’ve got lots of Christmas tree ornaments. Some sellers put five to six thousand items on their stands. Some are made so meticulously and lovingly; and the sellers put so much work into decorating their stands.

And those are the ones I really like.”

The market’s traditional appearance has been preserved and refined for generations. Roofs of red and white fabric decorated with reeds of fur branches.

The city makes sure plastic is kept to a minimum.

The market originated in the seventeenth century. Dressed as a night watchwoman, historian Ute Jager tells visitors about the market’s history.

Ute Jager, Historian: “What the Oktoberfest is to Munich, the Christkindlesmarkt is to Nuremberg. It’s a very important way for the people of Nuremberg to identify with tradition.

This market has been going for over 400 years; we couldn’t imagine going without it.”

Over two million people come to the market every year. Mulled wine and Nuremberg’s famous sausages are obligatory.

About a dozen stands offer sausages.

Visitor one: “All the rides and this gingerbread thing are beautiful.”
Visitor two: “When you’re at the Christmas Market, you know the Christmas season is finally here.”

Visitor three: “We came all the way from France especially for the opening of the Christmas Market — for the fifth or sixth time.

It’s simply magic.”

Yue Feng: “The market is really fun, and yeah, it’s beautiful. Also the food; I love the food here. It’s really traditional and original.”

Once the kids are snug in their hotel beds, Yue Feng and a friend come back for one last cup of hot, mulled wine.

The Christkindlesmarkt will keep ladling it out until it closes on Christmas Eve.

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Christmas. Only Germans visit the Nuremberg Christmas Market. Is this right or wrong?

New Year’s Eve, Day. Does the city mayor officially open (kick off, commence) the market?

Spring Festival.
It’s all fun and excitement for the Christ Child. Yes or no?

Valentine’s Day.
Are the items for sale mostly mass-produced in factories, or handmade?

St. Patrick’s Day. How does the market guide compare Munich and Nuremberg? Do they have equally famous traditions?

Arbor Day. The Christmas Market is big business. True or false?

Spring Vacation. What are some of the foods and drinks on offer at the market?

Does the Nuremberg Christmas Market have a traditional or contemporary atmosphere?

May Day.
My city has a Christmas market. Yes or no? If yes, how old is it? Who are the sellers? What do they do for the rest of the year?

Mother’s Day. What sort of items are sold there? Who come and shops there?

Summer Vacation. Is there a bazaar, marketplace or open market in your town or city? Who works there? What do they sell? Is it popular? Do tourists come there?

Independence Day.
Do you or your friends enjoy visiting and shopping in Christmas markets or bazaars?

Labor Day.
Is your city or region famous for a particular product, crop, food, clothing, or tradition that can be promoted or turned into a tourist attraction?

Halloween. Would people like to see more commercial activity and culture in bazaars, marketplaces and open markets or does it depend?

What will happen in the future?

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