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November 2003 - Nr. 11


The Editor
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German Pioneers Day
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2003 Radweltmeisterschaften
Music-Land Germany
German Christmas Markets
German Arts Now
Luther's Home Searched
Grimm's Dictionary
Berlin's Worth
Economy to get stronger
Financial Advice
Newton Donates Works
No Growth w/o Reforms
Read Out Loud
New Waterway
VW Designer

The Luminous World Of The Christmas Markets In Germany

GNTO Issues New Colour Guide
to more than 100 Markets

Toronto – Soon children in Germany, as everywhere, will start counting backwards, first the weeks, then the days until Christmas. It’s Advent, the weeks framed by the four Sundays before December 25, the season of anticipation, expectation and, in Germany, lots of enticing aromas wafting across many Old Town squares and alleys. Come the end of November, the country’s famous Christmas markets open their booths, decorated with boughs and tree lights, presenting traditional ornaments, handcrafted gifts, toys and candles. Mugs filled to the brim with steaming mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, candied apples, sausages, prune-stuffed dumplings, potato pancakes and more, all compete for the palates of all ages, visitors and locals alike. Few can resist.

To give Canadians a small taste of that very special atmosphere, the German National Tourist Office has just issued a new magazine-size guide, available free of charge. The 34-page publication not only presents 116 Christmas markets, with descriptions, opening dates and phone and e-mail information. It’s also laced with colour photographs showing many of them at their most romantic, picturesque best. To set the mood, four introductory pages tell the story of Germany’s Christmas traditions, many of which have crossed borders and oceans to make their mark in other countries, including Canada.

Dividing the country into South, West, North and East, the guide also provides a map of Germany. Little icons next to each listing indicate whether the market presents a particularly historic ambience, specializes in traditional regional hand-made arts and crafts or has such scheduled Christmas activities as carolling, pageants, brass and choir concerts or story telling.

Most Christmas markets open by the first Sunday of Advent, November 30 this year, and operate seven days a week, generally till 8 p.m., with some staying open later.

Canadians wanting to sample the German Christmas spirit in Germany should visit the Web sites of Canadian tour operators Allegro Holidays at www.germanytraveltours.com and Insight Tours at www.incan.insightvactions.com for travel packages including visits to German cities and towns in December.


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