Christmas Markets




secular major (2) around the world
almond tradition gingerbread
joy goodwill holiday spirit
run up research atmosphere
extend impulse in common
earn root (2) earn their living
gift stall (2) Middle Ages
set up draw (2) craftsman
craft date back commercial
allow mark (2) owe much to
owe merchant far and wide
lovely pleasant in this case
role no longer play a role
cheer minor (2) mulled wine
clear childhood individualistic
scent spirit (2) communal







People from around the world like to visit European Christmas markets and get into the holiday spirit, with the help of mulled wine, gingerbread or candied almonds.

Market visitor one: “All the Christmas spirit and all the lights. And everybody is just together.”

Market visitor two: “It’s all about the atmosphere and everybody being full of goodwill and joy at this time of year. It’s that feeling of being together outside in the cold.

And that feels very Christmasy.”

The markets have a century’s old tradition in Germany. Each year, some 270 million people visit the country’s twenty-five hundred (2,500) Christmas markets.

At Berlin’s Museum of European Cultures, Jane Redlin researches the roots of that tradition.

Jane Redlin, Curator, Museum of European Cultures, Berlin: “There were always weekly farmers’ markets. And they were simply extended during the Christmas season.

That impulse came especially from merchants and showmen, who earned their livings with the markets.”

Markets have been held in the run-ups to Christmas since the late Middle-Ages.

In the Fourteenth Century, craftsmen were allowed to set up stalls selling small gifts for children.

Dresden’s Striezelmarkt is one of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets, dating back to 1434.

In Nuremberg, the Christkindlesmarkt dates back to the mid-sixteenth century. It’s opened every year by the Christ Child.

Christmas markets continue to be big commercial draws for visitors from around the world.

The modern celebration of Christmas owes much to German traditions, which have been exported far and wide.

The British city of Birmingham is home to the largest German Christmas market outside Germany.

But they all have one thing in common.

Jane Redlin, Curator, Museum of European Cultures, Berlin: “They’re all places where lots of people meet to have a pleasant, lovely time. In this case, with the Christmas market, it’s preparing to mark the birth of Christ.”

But there’s been a lot of secularization, where the religious roots of the tradition no longer play a major role.”

What’s clear is that in our increasingly individualistic era, people have a growing need for communal experiences.

A Christmas market is a perfect place for that, with its holiday cheer and familiar scents from childhood.

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Only Germans go to their Christmas markets. True or false?

New Year’s.
Do visitors only like the drinks, food and merchandise?

Lunar New Year.
Are there few or many Christmas markets in Germany? Are these big business? Do they have a long tradition?

Valentine’s Day.
Did the Christmas markets suddenly appear one year, or did they gradually develop over time? Have only merchants and sellers operate there?

Carnival. Only Germans celebrate Christmas in this manner. Is this right or wrong?

Has Christmas changed over time? Do people go to Christmas markets for religious purposes?

Arbor Day.
Are Christmas markets an individual or group experience?
Mothers’ Day.
There are Christmas markets in my city. Is this correct or incorrect? Describe it.

Independence Day.
Is Christmas celebrated in your country? If yes, how is it celebrated?

Summer Holiday.
Christmas time is big business. Christmas is very profitable. Yes or no?

Is Christmas the best, happiest time of the year?

End of Harvest Festival.
Christmas has become too commercialized and lost its spiritual aspects. What do you think?

What will happen in the future?

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