Welcome to my new blog! Following many years of graduate study in musicology (see my bio if you don't know what musicology is), I am finally embarking on my fieldwork portion of my degree, spending one year in Germany. For all the latest updates on Music, Life, and Travel, read on, friends!

Tuesday, November 20

It's coming...

It is now time to reveal my surprise! While most of you are preparing your turkeys and trimmings, the next holiday season has already begun all around us. As evidenced by my post on Halloween, there have been advertisements and decorations for Christmas around Bonn for months now. Each week the holiday chocolate section at the grocery store gets bigger and taller! I could have bought a chocolate Santa in July here if I had wanted to!
Wintermotiv Bonner Stadtpanorama mit lachendem Kind © Stadt Bonn
Bonn advertisement for Christmas! Original photo here.
So, in honor of Christmas, I am going to post some highlights each day on my blog, documenting the wonderful German institution that is the "Weihnachtsmarkt!" Germans, and Europeans in general, have got it going on when it comes to celebrating Christmas. Ever since I attended my first Christmas market in Freiburg six years ago, I have been hooked!

Archival photo from Freiburg Weihnachtsmarkt, circa 2006!
This obsession has also resulted in yearly pilgrimages to Chicago for the past three years, all in an attempt to grasp onto some of this authentic German Christmas spirit! The Chicago Christkindlmarkt is the largest German-style holiday market in the USA, and they do a pretty good job of recreating the Christmas magic. (For more info on the Chicago Christkindlmarkt, which coincidentally OPENS TODAY!!!!, read all about it here (including my recipe for Gluehwein) and here.)

The first Christmas market pilgrimage to Chicago, 2009. B and I visited on the COLDEST day of the year. The high didn't reach 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now that I know how "einmalig" (one-of-a-kind) these traditions are, I have developed a quest to visit as many different markets as I can. You all will get to benefit from my daily synopses and photo journalism dedicated to this celebration of winter and lights! To begin this journey, I would recommend that all take a look at this video from Rick Steves, travel guru and avid fan of Christmas in Europe.

The preparations in Bonn have been going on for weeks now, and this week more and more stands are being built, more lights are being hung, more people are gathering! Bonn's market opens on Friday!

The first signs of the market - spray-painted markings on the streets and market squares in Bonn. I wonder which stand gets this number!

Muensterplatz Christmas tree - it was delivered by crane and truck on Thursday.
German markets include lots of things for children, like this carnival ride.

I do find the imagery a bit startling. I don't really know why this ride has the "Cristo Redenter" statue from Brazil on it, or what this colonial-looking boy is doing next to Jesus.

Maybe there is some sort of message about the diversity of the world, and how Disney characters unite them all? At least I know there is a Disney park in Paris.

These stands are closed right now, but their halls will be decked soon!

I think this German Christmas Pyramid will be a Gluehwein stand!

Many businesses are adding exterior lights. All of the trucks and machinery needed to transform the city makes walking, and especially biking, rather challenging in the pedestrian zones these days!
I hope you all enjoyed this teaser! Stay tuned for more on Christmas in Germany!

No comments:

Post a Comment