German cities already planning ahead for corona-proof Christmas markets

German cities already planning ahead for corona-proof Christmas markets

It’s hard to imagine in the midst of a heatwave, but Germany’s Christmas markets are already gearing up for the 2020 season! Here’s an idea of what a corona-friendly Advent season could look like in Germany this year. 

Christmas markets gearing up for 2020 Advent season

With the sun blazing down outside, nobody really wants to think about sausage stalls, mulled wine and nativity scenes, but Christmas will actually be coming round again in just over four months, which means Christmas market organisers in Germany are already busy with preparations. Despite the coronavirus crisis, most are determined that the beloved markets will still take place this year, even if under different conditions. 

Although the markets typically begin at the start of December and end on Christmas Eve, the start date has been steadily creeping forward in recent years, with many beginning to dish out the Lebkuchen from mid-November onwards. Last year, the Bayreuth Winter Village happily became the first Christmas market to officially open in Germany that year, on October 17. So planning is proceeding full steam ahead.

Will the Christmas markets go ahead in Germany?

It will be “less cosy”, admitted a spokesperson for the city of Mainz, as he shared the market’s new corona-proof vision of one-way streets, Glühwein-to-go and face masks. The markets also look to be going ahead in Düsseldorf and Cologne, but things aren’t so certain in Stuttgart, Hannover or Frankfurt am Main.

In Bavaria, which is home to some of Germany’s most famous Christmas markets, organisers are particularly keen to make this year work. Economics officer for Nuremberg, Michael Fraas, said the biggest challenge at the world-famous Christkindlesmarkt will be to direct the flow of visitors. They therefore plan to introduce a kind of one-way street system and make sure food and drinks are sold as takeaways. 

In Augsburg, the booths will be distributed across multiple sites throughout the city centre, in order to avoid big crowds. Saxony’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Barbara Klepsch, emphasised that, even though the markets are taking place under different conditions, they should, as always, “spread a homely feeling and pre-Christmas mood.”

Majority of people in Germany want to attend a Christmas market

It seems that her view is shared by the majority of the German population. Even a global pandemic can’t come between Germany and its beloved Christmas markets. According to one poll, 57 percent of people said they could imagine visiting a Christmas market at the end of the year. One in three said they would prefer to do without.

That the markets are so desperate to make this year work is not just about spreading Christmas cheer: thousands of jobs depend on it. Hotels and restaurants in the area make a large part of their sales during the Advent season. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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