At the Hamburg Christmas market

By | Category: Travel destinations
outside scene of the Hamburg Christmas Market

the Hamburg Christmas market

stall at Hamburg Christmas market

Food and drink are the main features of the Hamburg market

There are over 2,000 Christmas markets at this time of the year, many closing on Christmas Eve, some staying open until New Year’s Day.

Unlike in the UK, German markets are not so much an opportunity for retailers to sell crafts and gifts but a place to socialise. At the large Hamburg Christmas market over 80% of the stalls sold food and drink. Catching up with friends, relatives and workmates seems to be more important than the way markets have evolved in the UK.

There seems to more chatter, more laughter, more a sense of camaraderie and fun than then here where you might take the kids to see the decorated stalls but really it just an opportunity to shop for stocking fillers.

lanterns in Hamburg Christmas market

Hamburg Christmas market lanterns

Chrsitmas baubles

Christmas baubles on sale in Hamburg

So it surprised and shocked many Germans when the Berlin tragedy occurred. This was alien to that socialising that Germans do. It was certainly alien to the feeling of goodwill to all men that Christmas is supposed to mean.

After Berlin, the Hamburg market was still open, still busy if a little subdued compared to the previous day and still a place to socialise and swap gossip and news. At 10pm it was busier than ever and that is probably the reaction that should be made. Getting on with things and not letting the horror change life is a way of giving two fingers to the perpetrators of all terrorist actions.

And that’s how people visiting the Hamburg markets treated this week. That’s how Berlin carried on after the market re-opened.

Huts have developed creativly over the years at Christmas markets

Huts have become more architectural appeal over the years at Christmas markets – many reflect the fine detail of traditional German Christmas decorations.

hamburg - Xmas market

A Glühwein bar at the Hamburg Christmas market

The sad part is that now there are crash barriers in some markets like Berlin and Strasbourg, security will tightened at big events and attractions and some of that ambience so obvious in Hamburg will disappear. But maybe only temporarily?

fire-cooked salmon at the Hamburg Christmas market

Fire-cooked salmon at the Hamburg Christmas market

 

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