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Christmas as we know it wouldn't exist without Martin Luther. Five centuries ago, children received gifts on December 6th for St. Nicholas Day, a tradition that still continues in many European countries today. Luther wanted to emphasize the importance of Christ’s birth on December 25th, so he started a family celebration now known as Christmas. As a gift for his son, he wrote the Christmas carol Vom Himmel hoch (From Heaven above to earth I come…).
I'm dreaming of a… LutherCountry Christmas!
This is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to celebrate Christmas the way Martin Luther did 500 years ago. It's time you, too, enjoyed traditional food and drink, handmade crafts, and live music and entertainment at one of LutherCountry's idyllic Christmas markets! Every year from late November until Christmas, the crisp winter air is filled with the mouth-watering aroma of cinnamon, "Glühwein" (mulled wine), "Bratapfel" (baked apples), and Thuringian bratwurst (considered by locals to be Germany's finest sausage). With so much to see, do, and taste, it comes as no surprise that Luther was such a fan of these holiday festivities! He would have told you not to miss out on the scrumptious "Stollen", a traditional Christmas cake that'll always leave you wanting more. The best part is, LutherCountry's Christmas markets are still 100% authentic, featuring rows upon rows of quaint wooden stalls where locals can sell handcrafted gifts, Christmas decorations, wooden toys, and exquisite glass decorations almost exclusively made right here in LutherCountry.
The Erfurt Christmas Market is the largest Christmas market in Southern LutherCountry and takes place on the Cathedral Square with over 200 booths, a large pyramid, and a big Ferris wheel. Experience a unique medieval Christmas market and sample delightful regional treats set to the romantic backdrop of St. Mary's Cathedral and the Church of St. Severi.
Set in the courtyard of Eisenach's awe-inspiring Wartburg Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, another very special Christmas Market invites you to revel in a range of spectacular performances starring artists and tumblers, craftsmen and knights. This tiny sea of colorful booths and matching decorations will transport you back in time to the Christmas of yesteryear, including an authentic medieval sauna!
Lauscha is where the first glass Christmas tree ornament was produced about 160 years ago. On two Advent weekends, visitors to the Original Lauscha Christmas Baubles Market can stroll past stands overflowing with these delicate decorations and watch artisans as they create brilliant works of art at Lauscha's Museum of Glass Art.
Lutherstadt Wittenberg's Christmas market exudes a romantic atmosphere in the inimitable ambiance of its stunning Old Town. While here, you can also visit the Castle Church and see the very place where Luther posted his 95 Theses, as well as the winged altar created by Lucas Cranach the Elder. While you're here, be sure to swing by the Church of St. Mary to watch the Martin Luther Nativity play!
Immerse yourself in a real Winter Wonderland and see the world's largest Advent calendar during your trip to Quedlinburg. Every day from December 1st to the 24th, one of the twenty-four decorated houses on the castle hill will open its door to reveal that day's surprise. Surrounded by gorgeous half-timbered houses, the market square is the perfect setting for a whimsical holiday season.
Savor some of the most delicious regional dishes from all around Europe at the Halle (Saale) Christmas market. Sample a variety of cuisine from Finland, Hungary, France, Austria, Russia, and the Netherlands in the "European Village" or enjoy gazing upon the town's "Advent Candle": The illuminated Red Tower of the Market Church. For a complete overview of all the Christmas markets in LutherCountry, please click here.