Berlin – Germany does not seem right this December.
There are no groups of mottos popping red wine spiced with cinnamon and cloves, crowded under Rothenberg’s medieval market square, or the colossal cathedral of Cologne. No brass brand plays carols before Berlin’s Charlottenburg Palace. No stars shine from the edges of the wooden huts of Cefen.
The magical figure known as Christkind did not spread its golden wings and welcomed the world to the annual Christmas market in Nuremberg. The square of the dark city did not spring to reveal the light, in the poem he annually reads, “The little city within the city, which is made of cloth and wood; fleeting in its brief splendor, but perpetual throughout its age.”
Coronovirus is celebrating Christmas worldwide. But the absence of seasonal decorum and public cheer in Germany’s markets and squares is particularly pathetic and painful, largely devoid of its beloved Christmas markets due to the epidemic.
“When you walk through the streets of Munich or Nuremberg these days, without the strong light and the good smell, without the smell of warm Multani wine – that’s all I remember,” Oliver potzsch, 50, an author whose novels draw from his Bavarian family history.
The Germans have gathered in outdoor markets in the weeks before Christmas since the 14th century, when vendors first made their stands in city centers to sell their wares to people arriving from church services. They offer an array of food items, artisan gifts and other provisions for the upcoming celebrations and the long winter months.
In major cities such as Berlin, Cologne and Munich, tourists from around the world roam half a dozen markets – often on a variety of topics, such as Scandinavian or sustainable Christmas.
Locals, however, prepare for more intimate festivals in towns and villages across the country, often in the areas where they grew up.
Margot Kessman, 63, a former bishop of the Lutheran Church of Germany, called the Christmas markets the Advent market.
“Today, Christmas markets are very social places where friends and family gather,” she said. “But even those who are alone will go there to pick themselves up in smells, lights, and music, something about which is reassuring.”
According to the German Association of Fairgrounds Employees, Germany’s nearly 3,000 Christmas markets are an important economic boon for many communities, totaling about $ 3.5 billion last year. Local restaurants, breweries, bakeries and artisans also depend on annual holiday fairs for a substantial amount of their income.
Nina Engel has been selling glass ornaments for years at the Christmas market in Genderermont, Berlin. But as December drew near and the number of new coronovirus infections in the country remained alarmingly high, the German capital joined cities across the country that have canceled their markets, with promises made earlier in the year Despite everything he did to keep them open.
Gendarmenmarkt, a beautiful square, is open for freezing this year. No music-lover scrawled in a makeshift village of white tents by the steps of Konzerthaus, shining its peaks with golden stars and warmed with laughter, burning sausages and a stunning array of crafts and gifts.
This year, the city allowed a small section of vendors to pop up on street corners or in empty squares, in an effort to recoup some of their costs and spread the Christmas spirit.
“We have to pay for everything” Ms. Engel said, pointing to rows of glass hummingbirds, pickles, pizza slices, Santa and snowmen, with silver, gold and red bulbs on her stand in the pedestrian area Hanged in the middle. Friedrichstrasse Shopping Street in Berlin. “It is all seasonal goods. We are trying to sell at least a few items here – it is better than nothing.
Other cities have also allowed some stands to open, assist vendors and maintain a schedule of Christmas cheer – but in compliance with regulations that require strangers to be placed six feet apart. Until your mug is full, local restaurant owners offer hot liquor, or gluhwin, from the steps of their closed eateries, demanding a sip of the ubiquitous drink.
Others are trying to feel the house that feels the Christmas market at home, going out with the windows outlined in colorful lights, snow-laden and huge, shining Santa Claus – indicating Is that many Germans know only from Coca-Cola commercials and Hollywood films.
“I’ve seen people decorate their homes with awesome American-style lights, and Santa Claus is hanging from his balconies,” said Mr. Potzsch, who has an outdoor heater, extra blankets, and “got” one of the lights. String purchased. A festive venue for socially distracting meetings on their terrace.
And in a year that has seen music, drama and school classes online, organizers of some Christmas markets have virtually tried to recreate the soul.
Sieffen, home of artisans from Germany’s wooden ornaments, candle pyramids and toys, built Virtual christmas market, With music as a whole, images of an evening sky flew with snow and 360-degree graphics, all to promote local vendors whose craft would be introduced to markets across the country.
In Nuremberg, Benigna Muncy, 18, is serving her second year as Christ – who, in local tradition, takes the form of a young woman with long blonde curls, a huge crown and winged golden sleeves. She is the city’s holiday ambassador and patron of her Christmas market.
For Ms. Muncie, the first week of December usually visits the homes of local hospitals, homeless and dependents, and welcomes visitors to the market for a few hours or read stories to children who arrive there.
“People are waiting for me wherever I go as a Christian,” she said in a telephone interview. “Whether they are young or old, they are always very happy upon entering the room. “I’m sad that I can’t go for people this year.”
She makes a daily appearance in the previously scheduled online Advent calendar and, twice a week, takes a phone call from anyone who wants to reach Christchurch. The callers are mostly children who bring her to their Christmas wish list, but adults reach out to many people with memories to share.
“Since we are not meeting in person, I think perhaps memories are taking on a new meaning, becoming more valuable,” Ms. Muncie said.
She told how last year a woman had gestured to thank her, when she came to visit the market, she saw the woman crying and stopped. To ask if she was okay.
“She told me that she meant so much that she often thought of encounters when he was down and it gave him strength throughout the year,” Ms. Muncy said.
She is encouraging people to reach out to family and friends, who they cannot go to with a letter or call – and not to live in the market to remember the Christmas spirit, but among those who usually Gather there.
Ms. Muncie said, “Don’t let things come down and you don’t give up.” Even in a world of coronoviruses and tired endless lockdowns, she said, “There is always something beautiful to be found.”