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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Germany series at GermanPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential information about Germany, German culture and German people. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 18 - German Christmas Markets.
To many German people, going to Christmas markets or Weihnachtsmärkte is a must in December.
There's actually a lot to discover at a Christmas market. Besides the sweets and treats you’ll find there, such as roasted almonds, roasted chestnuts, Marone, gingerbread cake, candied apples, and gingerbread cookies, there are lots of stalls where you can buy things like Christmas decorations, or Weihnachtsschmuck, felt crafts, and jewelry. And of course, you can't miss out on a slice of Christstollen cake, or Christstollen and a glass of mulled wine, or Glühwein!
At every Christmas market you’ll find either a nativity scene representing the story of Christmas, or a Christmas concert along with a nativity play, which goes to show that Christmas markets are so much more than just a venue for candy and vendor stands.
Christmas markets have a long tradition in Germany. They've been around since at least the fifteenth century. Depending on the region they go by various names, some of which include “Christchild market," or in German Christmarkt, "Advent market" or Adventmarkt, or "Glow market," in German Glühmarkt. Originally, Christmas markets were adapted from the regular weekly market where you could purchase everyday items, though weekly markets have little in common with present-day Christmas markets.
In many German cities, Christmas markets are set up in the same spot each year, each becoming its own long-standing tradition. The oldest Christmas market in Germany is called Striezelmarkt, in Dresden, which has existed since 1434. Every year, the Striezelmarkt boasts more than 2.5 million visitors.
But not all German people like Christmas markets. In Berlin, the big Christmas markets get overcrowded, and feature fairgrounds with vending booths, carousels, and food stands, eliminating the quaint and personal feel of the original Christmas markets. So if an authentic Christmas market experience is what you want, we suggest you visit the ones hosted in small cities.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Where do people in your country usually visit during the year-end season?
Leave a comment telling us at GermanPod101.com! Until next time.