Christmas Markets Are Part of the Christmas Spirit in Europe

Christmas Markets Are Part of the Christmas Spirit in Europe

( – Many paintings of Christmas past are of beautiful villages dripping with coziness, fun and something special that just can’t be captured at any other time of year. In Europe, Christmas markets go as far back as medieval times. Some of the winter wonderland markets date to the 15th and 16th centuries. In modern times, they symbolize a nostalgic era and let people remember a time when things seemed simpler.

That wasn’t necessarily the case. There’s the portrayal of what we want to believe versus reality. Still, that doesn’t take away from the beauty of the Christmas markets. From the 1400s to 1600s, it’s unknown if the events were early bazaars held during Christmas time or if the special events existed to celebrate Christmas.

In medieval times, people lived scattered about the countryside, and churches held a market for religious feast days. Winter was the biggest of them all. It’s unclear when the markets evolved to include Christmas trees, nativities, or the other things we associate with Christmas today.

After World War II, Christmas markets roared back to life and grew more prominent in the ensuing decades. Economic prosperity fueled the transformation of the markets into tourist events full of lights, dazzle, color, food, and fun. Christmas markets became so popular in the 1980s and 1990s countries worldwide embraced their heritage.

Perhaps there’s a European-style Christmas market near you?

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