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Come November the cities and towns of Europe join in unison to celebrate the advent of Christmas with a Christmas Market. What started off as very much a Germanic tradition has now swept across much of mainland Europe as well as in the UK.
The very first December market was held in 1298 when Albrecht I granted permission for a meat market, and the Austrian capital is very much at the heart of festive markets to this day, with 20 in and around the city.
However, it is in Germany that the markets really flourished, with Dresden’s Striezelmarkt standing out as one of the most spectacular Christmas markets in the country – where else can you see a giant stollen parade?
In the UK the trend has evolved more recently, with markets now appearing in most cities and towns across the kingdom. From Winchester to Beverley and Padstow each has its own particular take on the theme, and London even has its own Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.
From the iconic Brussels Christmas Market in the capital of the European Union, the festive seasonal tradition has also swept across eastern Europe and Scandinavia. The Brno Christmas Market is prove that the Czech Republic is not all about Prague while in Lithuania they take place all over this small country, from its capital Vilnius to the smaller city of Kaunas. Meanwhile, the one in Helsinki called Tuomaan Markkinat, is amongst Europe’s most Istagrammable Christmas markets.
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