With Christmas just around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect time to show you some photos I took last year of the two Christmas markets I went to last year, one in Manchester, one in Sheffield.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, Christmas markets are street markets that are held during the Advent. According to Wikipedia, they originated in Germany, Austria, Northern Italy, and the eastern French regions. Nowadays, however, they can be spotted in other European countries, including the UK, but not in all. I, at least, have yet to see one in Portugal.
In these markets, the vendors sell food, drink, and, of course, a lot of trinkets and other items that would be perfect Christmas presents or decorations. From my experience, people go mostly for the food. I, on the other hand, preferred them for the spirit. I saw carollers, Santas, and quite a lot of cheeriness. They are definitely a great way to feel warm in the outdoors.
So, like I said, I went to two of them, the first being the Sheffield Christmas market held at the Kelham Island Museum.
It was a fairly small market (compared to the Manchester one anyway), but it was filled with people dressed up in Victorian clothes, performing traditional crafts, dances and songs.
I even had the chance to take a peek at the monstrous River Don Engine working, one of the most powerful steam engines in Europe dating from the early XX century (look at it work!), and at the museum exposition.
It really is a nice place to see all things “old”.
As for the Manchester market, it was absolutely huge. There were even maps here and there to show people where to find stalls (though really, one just had to follow the human ocean). It filled avenues upon avenues with food, drinks, and trinkets – and there were a dozen times as many people.
The crowd was such that I could barely take photos – both because there’d always be someone walking past and because I feared I’d get trampled by people. The few photographs I managed to take were either shot at night or in the few streets that weren’t overtaken by stalls.
Well, apart from a couple others when the crowd thinned or when I found myself at the eye of the storm.
See what I meant about it being busy? And that was nothing.
I’ll show you the other shots I took of Manchester in another post.
In the meantime, if you live somewhere with Christmas markets, go grab something sweet for me! And to absolutely everyone, whatever you do or don’t celebrate, I hope you have some very happy holidays :) May they be filled with sweets, warmth, and the loveliest of books.
“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!’”