The Christmas market is a public place outside, usually a place or a few streets in a city, which is set before anything comes to Christmas. Christmas markets are usually organized by the municipality during the entire month of December. There are small shops with items from Christmas decorations, regional products or crafts, gifts and something to eat (traditional mulled wine, cinnamon, cake). It is a very neat design with many lights and sometimes other activities (street shows or fireworks, Christmas music sound ...)
The first signs of Christmas markets date back to the fourteenth century in Germany and Alsace, known as "Market of San Nicolas." The first paper describing a Christmas is dated 1434 during the reign of Frederick II of Saxony, referring to a "Striezelmarkt" held in Dresden on Monday preceding Christmas. Later, the Reformation has continued the tradition by renaming it "Christmas" (market of the Christ Child) in the fight against the cult of saints. The Christmas market in Strasbourg in 1570 to date, that of Nuremberg of 1628.
In the nineteenth century, Christkindelsmarik (in Alsace) stood at Frohnhof (place with the chores) between Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, Palais des Rohan de Strasbourg and the Musée de l'Oeuvre Notre-Dame (now Castle Square) and was held 8 days before Christmas and until the midnight.
A major revival, considered commercial, took place in mid 1990. Many cities in Europe have established their own Christmas market with cottages and some attractions (ephemeral rink, big wheel ...)
Some Christmas markets
* In France, the tradition has spread throughout the country:
* In Alsace: the most famous in France is the Christmas market in Strasbourg (in Alsace Christkindlmärik), but other markets are also very popular today, such as Selestat, Colmar and Kaysersberg. There are Christmas markets in many villages and towns of this region.
* In Ile-de-France: the biggest Christmas market is certainly one of La Defense, at the foot of the Grande Arche. Its location gives the illusion of another world, once at night. In Paris and in many cities of the region, Christmas markets are numerous and allow the discovery of many designers and craftsmen.
* In Lorraine: the more authentic with its decorations and its notable volunteers in costumes of the past is certainly one of Plombieres-les-Bains, but those of Metz and Nancy are worth the detour.
* In Provence, where she meets a great success, with the sale of the famous santons. In Marseilles, the exhibition santons (dating from the late nineteenth century) is open at the end of November and until December 31. Note also in this city installed an ice rink near the old port. There is also a Christmas market in Avignon fairly important place on the clock, where 65 cottages traders are present in December, and a skating rink and a place Crillon farm fun place Pie.
* In Franche-Comte: the Christmas market Montbeliard is busy with its many lights. The castle of the Dukes of Wurtemberg still adds to the magic of this holiday.
* In the Central Region: Theillay to, there is a small Christmas market on the second Sunday of Advent. The atmosphere is special Christmas with the family visit Santa Claus and his nursery alive.
* In the Region Aquitaine: Landes in in-Benesse Maremne, nearly 30 exhibitors and artisans present their work and products in both the culinary (and spirits) and artistic.
* In the Nord-Pas-de-Calais: the Christmas market Béthune is one of the most famous of the region, both for the quality of products exhibited and the beauty of its decorations. While in Lille, the Christmas market and its big wheel attract a large crowd.
* In Germany: are famous Christmas markets of Aix-la-Chapelle, Montjoie, Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Dresden, but too many cities and villages of Germany have Christmas markets, especially in southern Germany.
* In Switzerland: Montreux and Zurich that e organize their own market.
* In Belgium:
* In Brussels the event theme and is called Winter Fun. He junction such a walk of several neighborhoods by combining some activities foraines quality.
* At Liege is a concept of Christmas village that each year attracts more than one million people. It is the oldest in the country, with over 190 cottages and a skating rink.
* In Canada: the first edition of the Christmas Markets Joliette-Lanaudiere, a single event outside the French-speaking Europe, began in Joliette in Quebec with the illumination of downtown on 23 November 2007, the festivities place until 23 December and attracted almost 50 000 people.
* Other countries: Austria (Vienna), Denmark.
Read also Jeanne d'Arc