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December 5, 2019

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The magic of Shanghai Christmas markets

It is the most wonderful time of the year if you are spending Christmas in Shanghai. You will not miss out on twinkling fairy lights, festive pastries or Christmas carols.

You can almost feel a certain magic in the air as you wander down the aisles of the city’s Christmas markets. In fact, Christmas markets have a long history that dates back to the late Middle Ages in the German-speaking part of Europe and in many parts of the former Holy Roman Empire that includes many eastern regions of France.

For many centuries, Christmas markets brought happiness and joy to villagers as it added color and light to the long winter nights.

Christmas markets originally started off as “winter markets.”

In 1296, Roman Empire Emperor Albrecht I allowed shopkeepers to hold a market for a few days during early winter so villagers could stock up on supplies and prepare for the upcoming bitter winter.

Eventually winter markets started to sprout up all over Europe. And local families started selling wooden handicrafts, toys, roasted chestnuts, almonds and gingerbread. These were often bought as gifts for people at Christmas.

Dresden’s Striezelmarkt is considered to be the first Christmas market, which dates back to 1434. Christmas markets were then held annually to celebrate advent. Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ, called the Second Coming.

Today, many European and even Asian countries have Christmas markets. Traditional food like dried plums, mulled wine and toasted almonds are common sights at Christmas markets.

To whet your appetite for the festive season, you can explore the magic of Shanghai’s Christmas markets.

Christmas markets in Shanghai are usually filled with authentic yuletide charm.

Local vendors will be selling traditional Christmas baked goods, handicrafts and other little trinkets — which make great gifts for your loved ones.


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