December is Christmas market season.
The Christmas markets is said to have originated in Germany.
The Striezelmarkt Christmas market in Dresden, Germany, was first held in 1434. Celebrating it was 580th anniversary in 2014, it is the oldest Christmas market in Germany.
Christmas markets start all over Europe from mid-November.
In the Netherlands, preparations for Christmas begin after Sinterklaas day (St. Nicholas’ celebration) on December 5th, so the Christmas market season is from around December 10th until Christmas (or the end of the year) for two to three weeks.
The city of famous for Christmas markets in the Netherlands are Haarlem, Leiden, Den Haag, Maastricht and Valkenburg.
These Christmas markets are held in a large square decorated with large Christmas trees.
The christmas market is full of fir trees, Christmas decorations, wreaths, cards, chocolates and candies.
There are also many foods such as hot chocolate, mulled wine, hot dogs and waffles!
Some Christmas markets are held mini-concerts and street performances on weekends. Also some large-scale Christmas markets has a Ferris wheel and a merry-go-round, it’s like an amusement park.
Many Christmas markets in the Netherlands have skating rinks. Christmas markets are where you can buy things you need for Christmas, but skating is more popular than Christmas shopping with Dutch people.
The Christmas markets held in Amsterdam’s Museumplein and RAI are event that are more like amusement parks than Christmas markets.
Most of the Christmas markets are outdoors, so be sure to wear warm clothes.
Don’t forget cash when you go to the Christmas markets. Most places in the market these days accept payment with a PIN, but there are also cash-only markets. It is better to keep coins in your pocket.
Winter in Europe can be cold, dark and depressing, but a visit to a glittering Christmas market will lift your spirits.
Buy Christmas ornaments and wreaths at the Christmas market to decorate your home and enjoy a sparkling Christmas!