Fireworks, mulled wine, gingerbread and hopefully some glistening snow: December promises to be busy and packed with great events throughout. From Christmas Markets and carol singing to theatre, marathons and, of course, plenty of New Year’s Eve parties. Bring it on, December, and let’s get celebrating the festive season together!
TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE | MAIN PHOTO: NEW YEAR’S EVE TRAIL VIENNA. © STADTWIENMARKETING, SEBASTIAN TOTH
Christmas Market, Munich (27 November – 24 December)
Have a ramble around one of the most traditional and famous German Christmas markets: Munich’s Christkindl Markt. As always, there will be a range of differently themed locations, including the romantic and nostalgic Square of the Stars, as well as the Kripperlmarkt with its Christmas crib rarities. The marvellous, huge Christmas tree, traditionally decorated with an impressive 3,000 candles, forms the centrepiece of the market.
Left to right: Winter Festival, Salzburg, Akoreacro. Photo © Richard Haughton | Photo © Pixabay
Winter Festival, Salzburg (28 November – 6 January 2020)
The beautiful ‘Winterfest’ in Salzburg has a great reputation in the international scene of modern circus. It’s the biggest festival for contemporary circus artistry in the DACH region, and only the very best artists are invited to perform here. Embark on a magical journey of acrobatics, poetry and fairy tales, right at Volksgarten.
Advent Singing, Salzburg (29 November – 15 December)
Singing Christmas carols together has been a tradition in Salzburg for over 70 years, and it’s a must-do during the festive season. From folk music and small vocal ensembles to Alpine melodies, this is a uniquely Austrian experience throughout and gets everyone into the Christmas spirit straight away.
ChocolART. Photo © Alexander Gonschior
Christmas Market, Bern (30 November – 24 December)
Bern has various different yet uniquely Bernese Christmas markets on offer. The market at the Waisenhausplatz is dedicated to traditional Christmas gifts such as knitwear and candles, while the one at Münsterplatz focuses on artisan products as well as handmade designer crafts. Then there is the Berner Handwerkermärit, focusing on unique arts and crafts, as well as the Altjahresmarkt at the end of December. With the smell of chestnuts lingering in the air, where else would you want to be at this time of year?
ChocolART, Tübingen (3 – 8 December)
Get ready for Germany’s biggest chocolate festival, which always promises to be packed with some tasty highlights. Guests can look forward to creative praline courses, fine chocolate tastings, artful cocoa painting, chocolate lectures and inspirational readings. Often, Tübingen’s restaurants also offer chocolate-inspired menus not to be missed. And then there is the so-called chocolate theatre and the chocolate illumination: certainly something you would want to see – and possibly taste!
Pferd & Jagd. Photo: © FAHeckmann GmbH
Zeughausmesse, Berlin (5 – 8 December)
The Zeughausmesse fair at the German Historical Museum showcases art, crafts and design at the highest level. The exhibition has also been described as the shop window for Berlin and Brandenburg’s applied arts. This year, it’s opening its doors for the 23rd time, and around 90 artists will be part of it. The grand opening also includes an award ceremony to support individual artists.
Pferd & Jagd (Horse & Hunting fair), Hanover (5 – 8 December)
The Pferd & Jagd fair is Europe’s biggest exhibition for hunting and equestrian sports as well as dog training and fishing. It showcases a wide range of quality products and brings over 800 exhibitors from over 20 countries to beautiful Hanover. Yet again, around 100,000 visitors are expected to attend this year.
Dresdner Stollenfest. Photo © Schutzverband Dresdner Stollen e. V, Michael Schmidt
Dresdner Stollenfest, Dresden (7 December)
Ever wondered what the biggest Stollen looks like? Go check out the legendary Dresdener Stollenfest, where a massive Stollen weighing several tonnes is baked every year. A parade showcases the oversized Stollen around the city centre, before guests can buy delicious pieces of the freshly baked treat. All profits go to selected charities and, rest assured, this Stollen tastes simply divine.
German Comic Con, Dortmund (7 – 8 December)
Yet again, Dortmund hosts the German Comic Con, which has been a huge success in the past five years and is comparable in scale to the legendary Comic Cons in San Diego and New York. Visitors can expect international stars from different genres in comic, film and TV, as well as various talks and workshops. This is an absolute must for any comic lover or super fan.
Photo © German Comic Con
43rd Zürcher Silvesterlauf Marathon, Zurich (15 December)
This is no regular marathon, because you can choose to run in traditional gym outfits or, you can in fact do the entire marathon wearing fancy dress. Needless to say, this special run brings old and young together and encourages them to get sporty, with the beautifully decorated city of Zurich serving as a magical backdrop.
Louis Lewandowski Festival, Berlin (19 – 22 December)
Named after German-Jewish composer Louis Lewandowski, this special choir festival is dedicated to the music of Jewish composers who emigrated from Germany. This year’s edition focuses on the musical life of the Jewish community in South Germany. Check out their website to see which concerts take place across the city.
Zeughausmesse, Glanz & Glimmer by Ute Kathrin Beck. Photo © Frank Kleinbach-Fotografie
New Year`s Eve Party, Berlin (31 December)
Have you ever been to this, one of Europe’s biggest street parties? Then book your trip to Berlin and kiss the old year goodbye in style under the Brandenburg Gate. Given it’s a massive free party, it should come as no surprise that it attracts around one million people from far and wide each year.
New Year’s Eve Trail, Vienna (31 December)
This year, the legendary New Year’s Eve Trail in Vienna celebrates its 30th anniversary. A fabulous show of waltzes, operetta, rock, pop and, of course, world-class DJs await thousands of party animals. The trail leads guests through the vibrant city centre, the City Hall Square and Vienna’s legendary Prater. It will certainly be a night to remember.