The Christmas Market in Dresden has many superlatives - it is the oldest Christmas fair in Germany, displays the world's tallest nutcracker and celebrates the "Stollen Festival"with the biggest Christmas bread in the known universe. Get ready for a super-cake, weighing 4 tons and measuring 13 feet in length.
The annual Stollen Festival takes place this Saturday, December 7th. Before you try a bite of this culinary masterpiece, watch the traditional procession of hundreds of bakers and pastry chefs, who will carry the giant Stollen through the baroque Old Town of Dresden. At the Christmas market, the Stollen will be cut with a special 3 feet long silver-plated knife, and then sold to hungry visitors.
And what is the Super-Stollen made of? - 1.5 tons of flour, 1.000 pounds of sugar, 1.700 pounds of butter, 11 gallons of rum, and 2.5 million raisins.
Dresden Travel Tips:
I have a very sweet tooth, and I wish I could visit this year's chocolate festival in Tübingen, the largest one of its kind in Germany. I am sure Tübingen, a charming university town in the southwest of the country, presents the perfect backdrop for this dreamy festival. ChocolART features an open-air market in the Old Town, which offers sweet delicacies from around the world, and there are some mouthwatering activities like praline-making classes, chocolate massages, tasting sessions, and chocolate art exhibitions. Sweet!
- When: December 3 - 8, 2013
- Where: Tübingen
- Admission: Free
- Website: ChocolART Festival 2013
(Photo: ChocolART Festival/Benny Hechler)
Today, Germany officially kicks off the holiday season with the first of Advent, a beloved Christmas tradition in Germany.
Many families celebrate the Advent Sundays in the weeks leading up to Christmas with singing carols, drinking hot spiced wine, and eating Christmas cookies or a piece of Stollen, a traditional German Christmas cake.
The Advent wreath was first created by Johann Hinrich Wichern, a German pastor, who founded an orphanage in Hamburg in 1833. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, the children would ask him daily if Christmas had arrived. To make the wait easier, Wichern came up with his magical Christmas countdown, creating his first Advent wreath out of an old cartwheel and small candles.
Do you have a beloved Advent tradition? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
Celebrating the Season in Germany
- Christmas Traditions in Germany
- Christmas Gifts Made in Germany
- Recipe for Hot Spiced Wine
- How to Make an Advent Wreath
(Photo by Birge Amondson)
Join thousands of locals at Odeonsplatz, in front of the Field Marshall's Hall, and walk Munich's streets to St. Lukas Church, where a service with meditation and music will be held to remember the victims of AIDS. After the service, you there is a get-together in the Cafe Regenbogen (Lindwurmstr. 71, metro stop Goetheplatz)
- When: December 2nd, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
- Where: Odeonsplatz, Munich
- Cost: Free, but donations for candles are appreciated
- Website: AIDS Candle Light Walk (in German)
Do you know of more World AIDS Day events in Germany? Please share them with us in the comments section below.
Head's up: Visiting Germany during the holiday season? December is one of the best months to travel to Germany; make sure to pack some warm clothes, and enjoy Germany's holiday season with its many Christmas markets, Christmas festivals, and spectacular New Year's Eve events. Germany in December
More Holiday Travel
Do you need some inspiration for a Christmas present? Have a look at this list with unique Gifts "made in Germany". From little Hummel figurines, and organic skin care, to clothing, books, and toys, these presents will make any Germany aficionado happy. And don't worry, you don't have to rush to Germany before Christmas to pick them up - you can buy all these gifts online. Happy Christmas Shopping!
Christmas Shopping in Germany
- The Best German Christmas Markets
- Germany's Most Popular Shopping Streets
- Best Designer Outlets in Germany
(Photo Courtesy of Pricegrabber)
Only a couple more days until Christmas markets all over Germany open their gates, bringing some light into those dark winter night and filling the season with holiday cheer. The tradition of celebrating Christmas markets has begun in Germany and Austria in the 14th century. Originally, the fairs only provided food and practical supplies for the cold winter season, but soon the markets became a beloved holiday tradition all over Europe.
To get into the Christmas spirit, check out this round-up of some of the best German Christmas markets where you can hunt for unique gifts, find traditional Christmas decoration, and enjoy those steaming crocks of spiced wine, sizzling sausages and chestnuts.
Christmas Markets in Germany:
- Tradition of German Christmas Markets
- The Best Christmas Markets in Germany
- Photo Gallery: German Christmas Markets
Cologne, one of Germany's oldest cities, is well known for its art scene. The city is home to more than 30 museums and 100 galleries with world-class collections, and in 1967, Cologne hosted the world's first art trade show. Here is an overview of some of the best museums in Cologne, from modern art, and historical collections, to a culinary museum that is a treat for visitors of all ages- especially if you get caught in some cold November rain in Cologne.
Cologne Travel Tips
(Photo by Robert Harding/Getty Images)
Want to go shopping in Germany without blowing your budget? Then hit one of Germany's discount outlet stores, where you can find great bargains all year round; designer fashion, jewelry, shoes, and household wares are often reduced up to 70%, because they are either from last season or overstock items.
Check out Germany's best discount and designer outlets where you can shop and save to your heart's content. Happy hunting!
Shopping in Germany
- Germany's Best Shopping Streets
- Best Shops to Buy a Dirndl in Munich
- Gifts and Souvenirs from Germany
(Photo: Winston Davidian/Getty Images)
Are you visiting Berlin during the holidays? Here are some ideas on how to enjoy the cold season in the German capital; from Christmas markets, and holiday music, to Christmas shopping, there are a lot of ways to be merry in Berlin.
The German capital celebrates the holidays with no less than 60 Christmas markets; from romantic, and historic, to organic, and fun, there is a Christmas market for everyone in Berlin. Some highlights: The Christmas Market in the district of Spandau, one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany, with over 400 booths, merry-go-rounds, and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree from the Black Forest; the festive and sophisticated Christmas market in front of the impressive Charlottenburg Palace; and the Scandinavian Lucia market, a great place for families and hipsters alike, in the courtyard of an old brewery.