Christmas markets, a cherished tradition that have stood the test of time. As we immerse ourselves in the holiday spirit, we though it would be nice to host our own WES Christmas market to mark the age-old tradition. Several of our clients will be taking part, selling items from their wonderful stock – the perfect way to mark the start of the festive period and to close off another successful year of business!
So, what better way of marking this festive occasion than to delve into the rich history of Christmas markets so as to gain better understanding of how this beloved tradition has evolved over the centuries.
The roots of Christmas markets can be traced back to medieval Germany. The first known market, or “Christkindlesmarkt,” emerged in the late Middle Ages during the early 15th century in cities like Munich and Bautzen. These markets were initially organized to provide communities with a central location to purchase supplies for the winter season.
Over time, Christmas markets evolved from simple trading posts to vibrant celebrations of the holiday season. The markets became more closely associated with the Christmas festivities, offering seasonal goods, handmade crafts, and holiday treats. The inclusion of festive decorations and the introduction of the Christmas tree as a centrepiece added to the magical atmosphere.
As the tradition spread throughout Europe, each region added its unique flair to Christmas markets. In Strasbourg, France, for example, the “Christkindelsmärik” has been a staple since 1570 and claims to be the oldest Christmas market in Europe. Meanwhile, Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt is renowned for its classical music performances and ornate decorations.
In the 20th century, Christmas markets experienced a resurgence across Europe and beyond. The markets became larger, more elaborate, and a focal point for local communities and tourists alike. Today, cities worldwide host Christmas markets, drawing millions of visitors each year who come to revel in the holiday spirit, shop for unique gifts, and indulge in seasonal delicacies.
What began as practical marketplaces has blossomed into a global phenomenon, helping to mark the magic of the season. As our own clients showcase their products for all to see and buy, they too can become a part of this ongoing tradition which celebrates the Christmas period in a different way, bringing communities together and further proving the longevity and importance of the Christmas Market tradition.