Are you looking for a unique way to kick off the holiday season?
Visit this year's Christkindlmarkt in Helen, Georgia! This beloved German tradition is embraced by the people of Helen so that locals and visitors of all walks of life can experience the authenticity of a Bavarian-style Christmas without wandering any further than the charming Alpine village in the northern Georgia mountains.Get a jump start on your holiday preparations by stopping in to visit Helen's Christkindlmarkt during the first two weeks of December.
In this article, we'll explore the history of the traditional German Christkindlmarkt, and what you can expect from Helen's own re-creation of the event.
Christkindlmarkt: A German Tradition
Of all holidays celebrated in Germany, none is as unique or important as Christmas. The holiday season officially begins with the first day of Advent, at which time Christmas markets (known as Christkindlmarkt or Weihnachtsmarkt) start to pop up all over the country. These markets are generally centered around town squares in German cities, both large and small.
Christkindlmarkt literally translates to "Christ child market," and indeed is a hallmark of the Christmas holiday. Markets like these have an extensive history in German culture and can be dated as far back as the late Middle Ages in the 1400's. It was at these markets where the German people could purchase all they needed to prepare for the holidays.
Typically, booths are set up to offer a variety of Christmas favorites. Holiday ornaments, wreaths, and decorations are available from these vendors, as well as unique and hand-crafted toys and gifts. While browsing through the various stalls, shoppers are able to buy delicious Christmas treats - savory or sweet - and may choose to sip on beer, wine, or a hot beverage like apple cider.
Christmas markets have grown so popular that their presence today is not only in Germany but throughout the world. Numerous European countries and American cities have adopted the tradition and have begun to host their own Christkindlmarkts to provide shoppers with a "one-stop-shop" for all of their holiday needs. There's something genuinely dazzling and magical about these spectacular, German-themed holiday marketplaces.
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Celebrating the Season with Helen's Own Christkindlmarkt
The city of Helen, Georgia prides itself on offering an authentic Bavarian experience to its visitors, so the town began to host its own Christkindlmarkt each year during the Christmas season. Since its 2008 commencement in Helen, the event has enjoyed significant success, is embraced by locals and travelers, and continues to grow. This year, the 8th annual Helen Christkindlmarkt is sure to get you in the holiday spirit and ready to celebrate the most joyous season of all.
As with a traditional German Christmas market, Helen's annual Christkindlmarkt provides shoppers with a wide variety of wares as booths are set up all along the marketplace in downtown Alpine Helen. Should you choose to visit Helen during this particularly special time of the year, you can feel free to wander amongst the stalls set up by local vendors at your own pace, inspecting hand carved Christmas ornaments, lovely holiday decorations, wood toys, original and one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts, baked goods, and more.
As you shop, you will be tempted by the aroma of sweet and savory German favorites - be sure to indulge yourself a bit! Should you wander through the market as the skies grow darker, you will be dazzled by the array of gorgeous Christmas lights adorning the red rooftops of the Bavarian-style structures located throughout downtown Helen. Even if the temperatures drop and the temperatures become cooler, you can stay comfortable and warm by sipping on hot cocoa or cider.
Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock
Helen's Christkindlmarkt has more to offer than just delicious treats and holiday wares. Bringing the little ones along to the market will not leave them feeling bored at all. Instead, they will be fascinated by an enchanting holiday tree in the middle of the Alpine Village square and will have the opportunity to join in on several fun Children's activities. And don't forget to bring your camera so that the kids can stop by and visit with Santa Claus to tell him what they want for Christmas this year.
Helen, Georgia is a beautiful place to spend the holiday season. Visiting the annual Christkindlmarkt provides you the opportunity to integrate the German culture with your own holiday traditions, making Christmas even more special for you and your loved ones.
Have you visited the Helen, Georgia Christkindlmarkt in the past?
Feel free to share any tips or useful information to future visitors in the comments section of our blog.
image credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/christmas/christmas-picture-galleries/9709680/Christmas-markets-in-Germany-open-for-the-2012-season.html