I’m sure that on these days, streets and corners of Hanoi are beautifully decorated with red and white which are the colour signs of Christmas. In Germany, the atmosphere of Christmas started from late November and has been lightened till near 24th December (this period is called Advent – 4 Sundays and weeks before Christmas). Not only ornamentation but my Uni’s Christmas Reading events, shops in red with discount-signboards, and wishes from teachers and friends all remind of the festive season. Even at my home where there are only Vietnamese and none of us are Christian, we still get some holiday atmosphere by decorating our kitchen with a handmade tinsel Christmas tree and light strings, and together making some cookies with the music of Christmas around.Then of course, it is missing if I don’t mention Christmas markets when talking about this festival. Although Christmas markets are pervasive in many countries, they are, in fact, originated from Germany. This kind of street market whose German name is Weihnachtsmarkt has been open since late November in every city of Germany. Basically, German Christmas markets held in different cities are similar with entertainment areas for kids and food and drink stalls. Some markets are really big and attract a lot of tourists such as the markets in Dresden, Nuremberg, Erfurt and Augsburg. Erfurt is the capital of Thuringia and just 40-min from Jena by train. However, I was so busy that I didn’t have time to drop by its Weihnachtsmarkt so I just spent one night wandering around the market in Jena.
Goethe Galerie, a shopping mall in the city centre, is decorated with the bear theme this year.
The traditional Christmas market is at the city square with appoximately 100 stalls. I visited the market on its last open day so there’re a lot of people which made it hard to take photos of the market.
Typical food and drink in Weihnachtsmarkt are Langosh, Lebkuchen (gingerbread house), glue wein (hot mulled wine) and bratwurst (bread and German sausage). I haven’t tried Langos before so I bought one and had to queue up for about 20 minutes before my turn.
My very first gingerbread house (German Lebkuchen). I don’t like food colour so just made a house with white royal icing. It took me 2 nights to finish this small house, one night to bake the cookies and the other to assemble all of the parts of the house
Merry Christmas everyone. May you and your family a warm and great holiday!