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December 2000 - Nr. 12


The Editor
Antje berichtet
Toys under the Tree
St. Martin
St. Martin's Full Moon
Toronto hosts...
Christmas Light Tours
The Merry Widow...
Views & Reviews
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?

Toronto hosts First Annual German-Style Christmas Market

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 gntony@aol.com  , 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.

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