Hello , lovely reader, and Merry Christmas! I couldn’t resist one last Christmas themed post before we edge out of the festive season and into the New Year. With Children and Husband on Christmas leave, we found ourselves with long awaited free time on our hands and so decided to take a drive out to Kassel. Destination, Christmas Markets.Our home town hosts its own market, but we like to get out and experience different places. Each Wienachtsmarkt has its own unique charm.
Kassel is part of the famous German Fairy Tale trail, based on the stories of the Brothers Grimm. So it was no surprise that the Christmas markets are based upon those fairy tales. The original tales were actually rather dark, unlike the Disney-fied versions told to children today. Grimm by name, grim by nature! Its something I’d love to research and post about in the future. But for now, fear not, the markets played up the magical and whimsical rather than the darker aspects of the original tales.
The days to Christmas are counted down on a giant Advent Calender. Each window contains a moving, musical scene depicting a fairytale. Some well-known, some we hadn’t heard of. There is something truly magical about the imagery of these timeless tales. There are charming little scenes dotted about the market and I adore the traditional story book style of them.
If you’d like an even bigger Fairy Tale fix, Kassel is home to the worlds tallest Fairy-tale Tower. Such towers usually depict the Nativity story, but this one tells some of the Tales of Grimm.
In amongst the traditional shopping and making merry, there are also some quirky touches. Like Heikki the moose who hails from Finland . He appears to have been taken to heart by the locals and visitors alike. It seems to be a custom to rub his nose as you pass. I think it is believed to bring good luck. Maybe not for the Moose, who now has several bald patches on his face where his fur has rubbed away.
Although the market is based on fairy tales and the regions story-telling heritage, the story that forms the heart of the season is not forgotten. You’ll find a large nativity scene nestled amongst the stalls. It is nice to know that, in amongst the tales of the Brother Grimm and in an ever busy,modern world, the traditional Christmas story still endures and holds a place in our hearts.
Until next time,