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
www.germanytraveltours.com and Insight Tours at
www.incan.insightvactions.com for travel packages including
visits to German cities and towns in December.