Christimas Markets

Breidtscheidplatz 19. Dez 2016

I don’t have anything useful to add to the news reporting about what happened in Berlin last night, but I think two people said it well:

Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maizière:

There is a psychological effect in the whole country of the choice of words here, and we want to be very, very cautious and operate close to the actual investigation results, not with speculation.

and

The UK Labour party’s shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry:

Our thoughts are with all those killed and injured in the horrific incident in Berlin, and with their families. We stand united in sorrow and solidarity with all the people of Germany, as well as with all those affected by today’s attacks in Switzerland and Turkey.

These lights will shine differently tonight.

Die Weihnachtsmärkte öffnen

Weihnachtsstimmung in Deutschland faengt an. German tradition calls for decorations to wait until the day after Toten Sonntag. This is a day of observance for those who passed away in the past year and it is recognized in Germany. I was surprised that I haven’t heard Christmas music yet, but it’s because the observance of this day is still respected across Germany.

I think it’s good that commercialism doesn’t take over everything. Even though Christmas specialties, advent calendars, and decorations have been out in the stores since the end of October, it was a little low-keyed. However, I’m about to see the transformation of Hamburg into a winter wonderland.

I found this in the paper on Thursday. All the markets open on November 24th.

I found this in the paper on Thursday. All the markets open on November 24th.

Because today is Toten Sonntag, this means  the markets open tomorrow! I already saw some markets being put up over the past two weeks. However, I didn’t see how much they’ve gotten done since last weekend, and so I was impressed by the Berlin decorations I saw over the weekend. I imagine Hamburg looks similar (sans Europa Center and Gedaechnis Kirche). I’ll go exploring throughout the rest of the time here before I return home for the holidays.

2014-11-21 17.37.05 2014-11-21 17.15.27

I am super excited by all of this because it’s something I don’t get to experience in the States, never mind sunny south Florida. Although there are many Jewish and Muslim people in Germany, it’s culture is still largely oriented around Christian holidays and so the state supports the decorating and  logistics for holiday celebrations. So much sparkled and glittered…

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.