When we moved to England, one of the first things I wanted to do was visit a European Christmas market. Our first Christmas in England was in the throes of COVID and the following Christmas was still a little touchy. This year, Christmas is back to normal so we packed our bags.
We have beloved family in Munich and since Germany is where the markets originated (also where the Christmas tree originated), I couldn’t think of a better place for my first visit. I am happy to say, it was everything I’d hoped for. Striped tents with evergreen trimming, mulled wine, sparkling lights, handmade gifts, decadent sweets and delicious foods.
My ancestry is German so visiting Bavaria and learning about German cultural traditions means a lot to me. Wandering the market, drooling over wooden crafts, savoring the bratwurst and warming my hands (and belly!) with glühwein was an absolute delight. I brought home a gorgeous German Christmas Pyramid, some beautiful ornaments for our tree, handmade soaps, our glühwein mug and Sage fell in love with a sparkly nutcracker. I also tried my first Baumstriezel which translates to “tree Bun” or “tree dough.” It’s sweet bread dough spun around a stick and covered in sugar or nuts or both! Mine was covered in haselnuss (hazelnuts). It was unreal!
If you are interested in learning more about the history of The German Christmas Markets, I found two wonderful articles here and here that share the history of the markets from their medieval origins in the 1400s, to their seedy years during the industrial revolution, to how the Nazi’s rejuvenated the markets as an opportunity stimulate the economy and celebrate German heritage, up to the post-war economic boom and today. If you want to see more pictures from the market check out my instagram post here. AND make sure you bring cash. I hit a giant shopping speed bump when I realized not one of the stalls accepted payments by phone or card!