Glass apples in Strasbourg
In 1570, in the center of Strasbourg, near the Notre Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral, the first Christmas market was held. In those days, it was held only a few days, and now it opens in early December and completes work after the New Year holidays. Millions of Frenchmen from different parts of the country and foreign tourists are happy to go to Strasbourg to taste the traditional Alsatian wine with spices and buy goodies for the festive table. Many people this year came from Paris, where after long disputes and litigation, the traditional fair on the Champs Elysees was not held.
HOME EUROPEAN FAIR AND ITS HONORARY GUESTS
The concept of “fair”, when it comes to Strasbourg Christmas traditions, should not be presented as one place, but as several large locations located separately from each other. The first fair was organized near the Strasbourg Cathedral, where it is held now, calling the market Christkindelsmarik, which means “Little Christ”. The next most important is the fair in the central square of Kleber, where there is a decorated Christmas tree. In total this year in the city center there are 11 fair locations. And each one necessarily sells mulled wine, sweets, traditional pastries, Christmas decorations, Christmas souvenirs, fried chestnuts. There are many places where you can have a good snack. Especially popular among the guests are a variety of sausages, sausages, sauerkraut, the famous stew “baeckeoffe” of three types of meat.
Christmas Market in StrasbourgA separate place on the market is currently reserved for chateaux with various pastes. Most of all tourists are attracted by foie gras, the French prefer a special Christmas paste, which is prepared according to an old Alsatian recipe: from several types of meat and with the addition of liver and special spices. The recipe is a big secret, at least – for advertising the product it is always emphasized, although every Alsatian hostess has such a “secret” in her cookbook.
This year, the total number of chateaux (outlets) was three hundred. They occupied the entire historical center of Strasbourg – several blocks of the Grand Ильle district, which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Security measures were also unprecedented: the central streets were blocked for motor vehicles, law enforcement officers checked the items of each visitor. Armed patrols were on duty all the time, and police cars were around the clock near the central cathedral.
Christmas Market in Strasbourg There is another interesting feature – every year the Christmas market invites one country as an honored guest. Previously, Germany, Georgia, Croatia, and Russia represented their Christmas traditions. This year such an honor fell to Iceland. In the Icelandic part of the market, you could buy original souvenirs, try traditional for the country Christmas drinks and food. And Icelandic Santa also visited France – Yola not Vinar, who lives in the mountains and visits cities only during Christmas time.
Ukrainians in Strasbourg believe that next year Ukraine will be the guest of honor of the Christmas capital of Europe. In the same year, they had a place allocated from the City Hall for several days on Kleber Square near the Christmas tree, where they offered dishes of modern Ukrainian masters, dumplings, mulled wine with spices. The money raised was spent on charity projects in Ukraine.
GLASS BALLS ON A BIRD – BIRTH FROM STRASBOURG
Since Strasbourg several times passed from France to Germany and returned again, it is believed here that the Germans should share with the residents of the capital of Alsace the “right” to consider themselves the founders of the tradition of putting Christmas trees in houses. But this is not all: the Strasbourg residents believe that it was they who began to decorate the Christmas tree in Strasbourg with glass balls. In general, apples were the main decoration of Christmas trees in ancient times. In each household, the best fruits were specially preserved until the Christmas time, and the children were waiting for the end of the holiday so that the fruits were allowed to eat. But once there was a crop failure of apples, and the Alsatians thought about how to decorate New Year trees. Glassblowers came to the rescue – they made balls from glass and painted them red, creating dummies of apples. Everyone really liked the jewelry. In the next (fruitful) year, the housewives hung on New Year’s trees and glass, and real apples. Over time, the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree with balls took root, and they began to be painted in different colors, put drawings, write wishes on them.