The Start of the Christmas Season

Erica Spear
November 22, 2015

I know that Thanksgiving hasn't occurred in the US this post may make me seem like an overeager person who can't wait to get into the holiday spirit! However, since there is no Thanksgiving celebrated here...the Christmas season has officially started. The start of the season has been marked by the opening of many Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) and Christkindlmarkt ("Christ Child" Maket) locations around the city.

So far, I have only visited two -- one at the Rathaus (City Hall) and one at the Schloss Schoenbrunn (The Schoenbrunn Palace.) Both are absolutely magical, beautiful, and full of Christmas spirit. They are sparkling with lights, and the air is full of the smells of spices, mulled wine, delicious sweet and savory foods, and the crisp winter cold.

At the markets, you can find many options for christmas gifts -- many artisanal handmade candles, advent wreaths and calendars, beautiful ornaments, knit and sewn items, hand-carved wooden items, pottery...the list goes on.

As far as food and drink goes, there is much to experience: hot gluhwein (mulled wine) and punsch (a hot alcoholic punch available in many flavors), maroni (hot chestnuts) and kartoffeln (potatoes), langos (hungarian fried bread), candied and spiced roasted nuts, sausages, brezln (pretzels), and the list goes on.

The markets have been delightful to visit at night with friends -- it's the perfect way to get into the spirit with the people you love, while keeping warm with all sorts of Austrian food and drink. I can't wait to explore the others!

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Erica Spear

<p>Erica is a senior at Appalachian State University, where she is double-majoring in Flute Performance and Music Education at the Hayes School of Music. At school, she is heavily involved in performing and teaching, at the university and in the surrounding area. Erica has a fairly global background, having family worldwide and being raised as a bilingual speaker (English and Japanese) but this is her first time abroad in Europe. She is looking forward to immersing herself in Viennese culture and embracing all of the art and history that the city has to offer. In her spare time, she enjoys running, yoga, cooking and baking, hiking, dancing, various creative outlets, and being introduced to new people and activities.</p>

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