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Striezelmarket - the oldest Christmas market in Germany

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Striezelmarket - the oldest Christmas market in Germany

Germany is traditionally considered the center of Christmas markets in Europe. Striezelmarket is the oldest of them, which was first held in 1434. The German market is different from the ones we are used to: here you can not only buy holiday goods, but also participate in contests and sweepstakes, try traditional Christmas treats from different provinces, ride rides and ponies, sing songs and learn fun dances. Behind the Christmas atmosphere, you should definitely go to Dresden and visit the Striezelmarket, a magical place where Christmas feels closer than anywhere else.

History of the foundation

For the first time, the fair was founded in 1434 under Elector Frederick II of Saxony. Unlike today's regulations, then the market was only open on Mondays during Christmas Advent. At first, the assortment consisted only of meat products from local residents, but the assortment gradually grew, and the circle of sellers expanded.

On the market they sold dumplings - the ancestors of modern stollen who baked from water, oats and flour - the recipe was lean. Only in 1474 the duke of Saxony at an audience with the Pope received permission to add butter and milk to them. In just a few decades, the dumplings became so popular that housewives from all over Germany came for them, and since then they have been galleries (the modern name) - the national Christmas symbol of Germany.

What attracts the market today?

Every year in mid-November, the central square of Dresden is transformed: a scene is being set up, a gigantic calendar in the form of a castle, in the center of which festive events unfold. A giant spruce, a pyramid and four symbolic Christmas figures rise above the square:

  • Plum man
  • Miner
  • Nutcracker
  • Snowman.

Two hundred stalls are erected, in which you can purchase:

  • Gastronomy: stollen, chocolate figures, fruits in chocolate, plum men, Saxon national donuts and cottage cheese, fried chestnuts and almonds, German hot sausages and barbecue, gingerbread cookies
  • Low alcohol drinks: punch and hot mulled wine
  • Traditional New Year and Christmas goods: gifts, Christmas toys, nativity scenes, pyramids and candelabra, cards
  • Products of local craftsmen working in applied and elegant styles of art.

Interesting Facts

  • Two million people visit the market annually during the month of the market’s operation.
  • The first "foreign" sellers were potters from Mainz
  • The most delicious stollens are marked with a gold seal depicting Augustus the Strong - a special quality mark
  • Augustus the Strong became famous for ordering to bake to the Striezelmarket a stollen weighing almost two tons, which was tasted by 24,000 people
  • The market sells figures of nutcrackers, which were first brought by craftsmen from the Ore Mountains in 1644.

The object belongs to the markets.

Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Kuban State University, Russia (World Economics); Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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