This story was ready to hit the press on Christmas Eve but because of wifi issues onboard our river cruise, the photos could not be uploaded.
It’s Christmas Eve in Passau, Germany. My mom and I are breaking tradition to enjoy a European holiday via a river cruise that stops everyday in charming towns along the Danube. This is a special time of year because the Christmas Markets, or Christkindlmarkt, light up and give warmth to the cold, bringing family and friends together to celebrate the season.
The Christmas markets date back to as early as 1294, the first markets taking place in Germany and Austria. The medieval markets provided the warmth of fires, supplies such as hats, gloves and coats, pots of hot soup and I’m sure plenty of warm drink. This was a gathering place for camaraderie and merriment.
The artisans that display their work here all unite to recreate the feel of the Middle Ages and what may have been the handcrafts of the time. Decorated stalls of handmade ornaments of straw and wood, beeswax candles, all forms of angels, toys, intricate wooden silhouettes, traditional cookies and strudel line the streets.