Christmas Market time…
I have always loved Christmas with the presents under the tree, mince pies and cream, the giving of gifts and getting friends and family together, but it is not just Christmas day that I enjoy as I find the build up to it just a exciting as the day itself. For me part of the magic is going around the different Christmas markets and experiencing some of the different cultures that have come from overseas but did you know the history behind the humble Christmas market or the difference between a market and a Fayre?
They have always been popular in the UK, which was until of course Oliver Cromwell banned the celebration of Christmas in the fashion people had got used to; this naturally affected Christmas markets to the extent that they died out almost instantly. During the Victorian era many areas would sell Christmas style items and foods building up to Christmas however they were not known officially as Christmas markets!
Since this time markets have come back into fashion with the markets often having different foreign themes bringing traders over from Italy, Germany and France. There are many places around the UK where traditional German markets can still be experienced such as London, Oxford, Bournemouth, Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds but they can be visited all over from small town centres to bustling cities and last from a few days to many weeks.
Christmas markets are best described as being Continental or Traditional by which it’s a safe bet that the stalls will most likely be wooden chalets that sell a range of traditional toys, foods and gifts, and in some areas you may be lucky enough to even find an ice rink and some European traders. Having said that Christmas Fayres are a little different, in that, although Fayres may still have a traditional feel, some may lack the olde-worlde charm that you might expect from a Christmas Market.
No matter whether you’re visiting a Fayre or Market I hope you all have a great time and enjoy this festive time of year.