Thanks to the Christmas markets, winter in the city doesn’t have to be boring, and time in December time doesn’t have to be a period, when people are just waiting for Christmas Eve. The festive atmosphere can be felt much earlier.
Some people are annoyed by quick replacement of candles on a Christmas tree and balls, which happens in supermarkets virtually in front of your eyes. Barely November comes, stores are filled with the sound of lively Christmas hits, and the closer to the second half of December, the more often we hear Christmas carols instead of well-known songs. But there is something that subtly introduces the festive mood, making this not in the interiors of shopping malls, but in the open air. It's Christmas markets, held every year in many Polish cities.
Polish Christmas fairs
Christmas fairs are a tradition in Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Poznan and other Polish centers. Abroad, they can be found, among others, in Vienna, Budapest, Paris and Berlin. Along with the second half of November they appear on the main squares of the cities, and in places likely visited by tourists.
During the December visit to the largest Polish cities, take a walk between the stalls offering local and international delicacies. For retailers it’s one of the best ways to promote, and for customers - a chance to try mulled wine or beer, dishes of the local cuisine, as well as to purchase some original souvenirs. What’s there that couldn’t be found! Passing through the "Christmas Town", we’ll surely run into a cloud of steam swirling around the soup kitchen serving baked sausages, stew or shashlyks. Mulled wine with lots of cloves and other spices will warm our frozen hands (and stomachs). Crowds are literally overflowing between wooden booths, aromas are mingling and wind gusts are struggling with pungent smoke and fire blazing from the grate.
Christmas on the streets
There won’t be any Christmas market in the Old Town of Warsaw. Councillors of the city together with monuments conservator didn’t gave the permission to organize a Christmas market, but they decided to make there an ice rink. Tourists visiting the capital can enjoy a Christmas Market at the Central Station - this year organized there for the first time. Until December 22 at the market you will be able to buy regional meats and oscypki (a traditional smoked cheese made in the Tatra Mountains), as well as Christmas ornaments and folklore handicraft.
At the same time, there’s also a Christmas market in Wroclaw. Its integral part is the Fairy Wood, and this year novelty are the stalls with Dutch cookies baked in caramel and a Fireplace Cottage, where you can warm up by the outdoor fireplace.
Christmas Market in Carcow
Christmas Market in Krakow will last a little longer - up to 26th of December. Today, on the Main Market, fried sausages are already sizzling, wooden angels sway at the stalls sway and colorful scarves with folk motives are waving in the wind. Just by the noble Sukiennice, you can obtain highlanders’ thick sweaters, fur and sheepskin. When the snow will start to fall, and your ears and nose will freeze of the bitter cold, you can warm up with heavily spiced cup of borscht and festive atmosphere floating through the air. It is worth mentioning that in 2008 the Krakow Christmas Market was put on the list of 20 the most popular Worlds Christmas Markets, created in 2008 by The Times magazine.
In other cities, you can also feel Christmas much earlier. With a cup of mulled wine or mead, or with a bag of roasted chestnuts we’ll wander between the streets of the Christmas Town, and then, all cold, we’ll go home, thinking about happily blinking Christmas lighting.