Our Top-Seller: The Frankfurt Christmas Market
The Frankfurt Christmas Market is known to be one of the oldest and most beautiful in all of Germany, its origins dating back to 1393. The market’s Christmas tree ranks amongst the tallest in all the lands, presenting itself as the event’s visual highlight. The market itself, held in Frankfurt’s time-honoured old town, attracts over three million visitors a year.
Hot apple wine (the wintertime variation of the locals’ beverage of choice), roasted almonds, mulled wine and traditional marzipan candies known as “Bethmännchen” have been pleasing the palates of the region’s population during the dark days of winter for hundreds of years. In 1997, after over 600 years of local market success, event organisers finally dared to export the Frankfurt Christmas Market to more faraway destinations.
More than 5 million visitors in Birmingham
Birmingham, one of Frankfurt’s partner cities, initially agreed to a one-time co-operation. The market was such a success, however, that the collaboration was turned into an annual affair, bringing continental Christmas traditions to the British Isles on a regular basis. All in all, more than five million visitors flocked to the market’s 100-plus stalls in 2012. Here, they were able to experience festive Advent traditions, German-style. Birmingham’s version of the Frankfurt Christmas Market thus became as popular as the original, making it the largest German-style Christmas market outside the German-speaking world.
Three other British cities now feature Christmas markets based on the Frankfurt original, with Leeds, Edinburgh and Manchester all bathing in the scent of mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and gingerbread during the Advent season.
Edinburg and Leeds
The Christmas market in Leeds, first held in 2002, traditionally kicks off as early as mid-November. For a total of 38 days, the market’s German exhibitors ensure that their guests are well catered for in every sense of the word. The Scottish representation of the Frankfurt Christmas Market, taking place in Edinburgh since 2000, attracts approximately 600,000 visitors a year. Here, some 33 booths and stalls help to make the highland’s cold winter days a little warmer and cosier.
The British versions of the Frankfurt original have been a steady component of the UK’s Advent season for nearly 15 years. Their stalls offer authentic wood, leather and pottery goods as well as a delicious assortment of culinary specialities. At the “Frankfurt Xmas Pub”, visitors gather from near and far to enjoy German beer and frankfurters, two of the most popular items on offer.
Various rankings, including www.christmasmarkets.com, have named Leeds and Birmingham as two of Europe’s most beautiful Christmas markets. Both markets have been perennial Top-10 finishers over the past several years, underlining the popularity of the Frankfurt Christmas Market in the UK.
Nov/Dec 2013 Birmingham, Victoria Square / New Street
Nov/Dec 2013 Leeds, Millenium Square
Nov/Dec 2013 Edinburgh, Mound / Princess Garden
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