Being in Hamburg at this time of the year can be a flashback into the old German Christmas Nostalgia. Sixteen Christmas Markets also called Christkindlmarket lighten up the entire city; nine shine in the Hamburger Shopping Mile. Each age can find an appropriate Christmas atmosphere here. The most popular markets in Hamburg are located at the Rathausmarkt (City Hall Market) and the Winterzauber on the Jungfernstieg.
The market attractions include food and drink stands as well as souvenirs, clothing or Christmas decoration. The food and drink stands sell German delicacies like the famous Bratwurst (sausage), gebrannte Mandeln (candied,roasted Almonds), Schmalzgebäck (deep fried pastries), Lebkuchen (gingerbread), Christstollen (stollen), Glühwein (hot mulled wine), Eierpunsch (egg-based hot alcoholic drink) and more. The hot drinks and the cozy atmosphere are a good distraction of the freezing temperatures.
The history of the evolution of the Christmas Market goes back to the Middle Age Europe. It all began small, as German Villagers started to gather around their church during the Christmas season. These gatherings were a celebration for the villagers, who would sing songs and share food and drinks. From time to time the gatherings grew bigger, and the people built up their own stands every year. It wasn’t a small croud of villagers anymore, but the whole town that came to visit this event, the Christmas Market was born.
The Christmas Markets also organize events like the “Märchenschiffe” which are boats by the Alster Lake on the Jungfernstieg, where children can bake cookies, act theater and do Christmas handcraft works for free.
The Christmas season is also a must for playing old classics in the Theatre. In Hamburg the Staatsoper shows us classics like Hänsel and Gretel, Der Nussknacker (nut cracker), Die Zauberflöte (the magic flute), Der gestiefelte Kater (cat in boots) and more.