Saturday, December 19, 2009

Most Famous Christmas Markets of Germany

I have already jotted some glimpses of the Christmas Markets of Germany in my previous post, yet I was so overwhelmed by the beautiful markets here that I just could not resist myself sharing some more experiences of mine with Christmas markets in Germany. This year, I just could able to make it to only a few of them as I am back in my home country for holidays, well, I should say Christmas is the perfect time for me to have holidays as I can take more holidays than usually allowed 3 weeks of vacation in Germany, and also I have plenty of options to buy gifts as there are Christmas markets everywhere and the atmosphere is so majestic and mystic to just give the damn care the chilly winter. I was tirelessly wandering every possible nook and corner of the Christmas markets of Düsseldorf, Cologne, Oberhausen, Duisburg, Essen and Dortmund. Well, many Christmas markets look the same, yet every market has its own charm and tradition. This year, I just managed a few and my wish-list of Christmas markets to be visited in coming years goes this way….


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Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt: or Christ Child Market is one of the oldest in Germany. About 180 Wooden Stall, festooned with red and white cloth which gives the market the name “Little Town with Wood and Cloth”. The stalls present the famous Nuremberg spicy gingerbread, fruit loaves, bakery foods, mulled wine, Nuremberg Sausages, typical Christmas articles like Christmas tree Angels, Cribs, Christmas Tree Decorative Ornaments, perfumed candles, toys and many handicraft goods. Each stall offers a variety and tradition, therefore Nuremberg Christmas market is regarded to be one of the best Christmas Markets in Germany and draws approx 2 million visitors every year.


Image Courtesy: ©Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt’s Römberg Weihnachtsmarkt: In terms of number of visitors, Frankfurt Christmas Market draws more than 3 million visitors every year being the highest in Germany. The elaborate and creative stand decorations, the huge Christmas tree, and the number of Christmas Concerts are the main attractions.


Dresden’s Streizelmarkt: It is also one of the oldest Christmas markets of Germany and it references dating back to 1434. Almost 250 stands surrounds the famous “Frauenkirche” attracting more than 2 million visitors every year. It got its name from “Strüzel” or “Stroczel”, a typical cake sold at the market now popularly known as “Stollen” or “Christstollen”. Stollen is a light airy fruit cake which is quite low in sugar now available all over the world, yet the true Dresden Stollen is produced in the city and distinguished by the stamp of the city’s famous king, “August the Strong”. Streizelmarkt is famous for Pflaumentoffel (Plum Devils), Pulsnitzer Pfefferküchen (Pulsnitz Pepper Cake or Ginger Bread) and the woodent decorative ornaments like Candle Pyramids, Schwiboggen (Arch Hanging) Candle holder, Räuchermann (smoking man) Candle holder and Nutcrackers.


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Munich’s Christkindlesmarkt and Kripperlmarkt: The Christelkindesmarkt is known for its 30 metres high Christmas tree decorated with 2500 candles and the famous Bratäpfel (Fried Apples), Hönigkuchen (Honey cakes) and the famous Krampuslauf when St. Nick’s trolls march thru the market. Kripperlmarkt or Manger’s market or Crib Market is one of its kind and it is Germany’s largest Crib market where you find everything to create an authentic nativity scene.

Monday, December 7, 2009

First Glimpses Of Christmas Markets in Germany

Well, it has already been two weeks into Advents and the renowned traditional Christmas Markets (Weihnachtsmärkte) of Germany have added glee and colours of the Festival moods everywhere out here. Almost in every city, town, village traditional Christmas markets are opened in the city centres with colourful lights, decorations and small traditional handicraft shops along with the food centres. Almost every market serve Glühwein (Hot Wine with Herbs) to warm yourselves in chilly winter, regional food specialities along with Ginger-Bread (Lebküchen), roasted chestnuts, sweetened almonds and well the famous Sausages. Some highlights of Germany’s famous Christmas markets.
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To end with some fun with Christmas Song Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell in punjabi :-)

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

25 Years On – Is there any Hope For Justice Yet?

It has been 25 years but the disaster and its impacts are still going on in Bhopal. Well, we all know what has happened on 3rd December, 1984, when Union Cardbide Pesticide Plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India spewed out poisonous gas Methyl Isocyanata (MIC) exposing more than 500,000 people to MIC and other chemicals. 3,787 people died immediately because of the exposure to MIC and an estimate 8,000 to 10,000 died within 72 hours and more than 25,000 have died since then from gas-related diseases. More than 100,000 people are still suffering from severe, chronic and breathing difficulties, damaged eyesight, reproductive complications, rising cancer rates and range of other ailments that affect nearly every system of their assaulted bodies.

25 years on and still hundreds of tonnes of abandoned toxic chemicals from the Union Carbide plant continue to pollute the ground waters of the region and affecting the thousands of people who depend on it as Union Carbide left the disastrous site un-cleaned. There has been many civil and criminal cases pending in USA and Indian against Union Carbide now owned by Dow Chemical Company, yet no Justice has been met. The people affected are promised compensations, yet the powerful Industrialists of USA and the dirty bureaucrats of India has denied the people their rights. They were the innocent victims of the negligence and irresponsibility of the Union Carbide Manslaughters, the terrorists without arms or bombs who ignored the basic safety norms to cut the costs. They are now the victims of the irresponsible governments and blood-sucker politicians who in the name of victims’ compensations swelling their Swiss Bank Accounts.

Will these people ever get Justice for what they gone through? Will these people ever get compensations for their sufferings? Will these people get treatments for their ailments? Will they ever get a clean and un-polluted environment to live in?

You can find more information on International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) at . Let us spread this message and educate ourselves about the tragedy that has happened 25 years back, yet those affected are denied their right to live better lives. Let us raise our voice. Just participate in ICJB and help those are suffering from Bhopal Gas Disaster get their Justice.

You can read more about the tragedy at: BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY