Donations to the Starlight Children’s Foundation
May Win a Trip to Germany
Toronto - For the first time this year, Toronto will have
its own Christmas Market in December. For more than two weeks, starting
Friday, December 1, to Sunday, December 17, Toronto’s Nathan Phillips
Square will shine even brighter than usual during the festive season. The
more than 100,000 lights illuminating City Hall and the square at that time
of year will get a boost from the festive lights strung between the
specially designed and decorated wooden market booths. Approximately 30
different merchants will set up shop in them temporarily, selling everything
from pottery, woodcarvings and tree decorations to teddy bears, toys and
traditional Christmas nutcrackers from Germany’s Ore Mountains. Five of
them will fly in straight from Germany with their wares.
Not to be missed, grilled sausages, roasted almonds and
chestnuts and hot mulled wine will provide sustenance and warmth to shoppers
and their luscious aromas will waft into Toronto’s business district,
luring office workers over for their lunch hours. They might catch a live
choir or brass band presentation while they eat and browse.
A fundraising draw for the Starlight Children’s Foundation
adds to the spirit of Santa’s season, prizes including a Mazda mini van
and a trip for two to Toronto’s twin city in Germany, Frankfurt. Lufthansa
German Airlines provides round-trip air transportation and German Rail train
passes for travel within Germany. Market hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.,
Sundays to Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursdays to Saturdays.
Visiting Toronto’s first Christmas market, Torontonians
will join a tradition that hails back to the 15th century in Germany, when
craftsmen brought their wares to town and sold them outside churches during
the weeks before Christmas. Records show Dresden as Germany’s oldest
Christmas market, the first one noted in 1434, and today’s market in
Nuremberg as Europe’s largest.
The city of Kitchener (Ontario) adopted the idea a few years
ago and will open its fourth annual Christkindl Market in Civic Square on
December 7. For four days, until Sunday, brass bands and a succession of
regional choirs will once again present carols and other Christmas music,
setting the seasonal mood for Christmas browsers and shoppers. Scents of
roasting chestnuts and mulled wine, hot sausages and spiced gingerbread will
make Kitchener’s Christkindl Market feel much like its hundreds of age-old
cousins in Germany’s villages and towns.
In Germany, most Christmas markets will have started in late
November, and they will generally last until a day or two before the actual
holiday. In these weeks of Advent, Germans make it a habit to visit the
markets, often meeting friends to share a glass of mulled wine or two after
work or on the weekend. They also keep an eye out for that extra special
Christmas decoration or the small carefully crafted gift that would warm
some loved one’s heart. Canadians now have a chance to do likewise without
crossing the Atlantic.
For more information on Christmas markets in Germany,
please contact the German National Tourist Office’s toll-free number,
1-877-315-6237, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
, or visit GNTO’s web site at www.germany-tourism.de
For information on Toronto’s first annual Christmas
Market, please call Sascha Lutz at the Canadian Tour & Event Company in
Toronto, (416) 596-7607.