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After welcoming, before Christmas – It is that time of the year again!

Mastering the best job ever. Photo: Alara Yaman

The academic calendar in Germany is quite different from the ones in other countries and for the international students it takes time to get used to it. Certainly, the steps that must be taken in these weeks vary between students. For instance, some international students are waiting their renewed residence permits excitedly; some of them still needs to deal with some paper works for Foreigners Authority and some already got theirs. But actually this time of the year almost all of the students have something in common: Having a full schedule with meetings for the group projects and library dates with many articles and books while counting down to the Christmas Break! I call it as “in-between” time; it is after the Welcome Week and the first smooth two weeks of lecture and before the sweet rush of Christmas Holiday.

In addition, the start of the registration period for the exams whispers that exams are also on their way, which awakens me from my autumn coziness and makes me a little bit more stressed. Luckily, Nuremberg is the city that is famous for its amazingly beautiful Christmas Market and one of the best cities to experience the Christmas spirit. This is a kind of motivation for me to get to work more to deserve to enjoy a cup of “Glühwein” soon with my friends and my visitors who prefer to come to Nuremberg especially in December even though they are aware of the fact that it will be freezing cold.

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Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt – a place for wonders

The opening of the Christmas market this year on November, 25. (Photo: Olha Kuzmyn)

When the clock strikes 17:30, the city plunges into darkness. Not a single sound breaks the silence, not a single heart remains indifferent. It’s the time of magic, holidays, gingerbread, mulled wine and Christmas. It’s the time when one of the most famous Christmas markets in Germany opens, and it is special for a few reasons.

History and traditions

Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt has an about 400-year-old tradition and is one of the oldest markets in Germany. Since 1948 each year it is opened with a prologue recited by a „Christkind“ (the English version of the prologue can be found here: http://www.christkindlesmarkt.de/en/christkind/the-festive-opening-ceremony-and-prologue-1.2373140). The Christkind tradition goes back to the times of Martin Luther who wanted to separate from the Catholic church and decided to present children with gifts on Christmas Eve. The presents were believed to be brought by „Holy Christ“, which eventually turned into a Christkind character. So each year, before the first Advent, a beautiful golden angel goes up the stairs to the observation point of the Frauenkirche at the Marktplatz and greets all the citizens with the beginning of the festive Christmas time. Weiterlesen

Christmas Vol. 2: Erlangen vs. Ivano-Frankivsk

Weihnachten in Erlangen...

Christmas in Erlangen…

... and in the Ukraine.

… and in the Ukraine.

Sometimes it is very beneficial to be an international person. Especially at the time of Christmas. As soon as in one country everything ends, in the other one everything only is getting started.

Preamble

Christmas market is one of the main sights in Germany. Each city is proud of its own century-old traditions, cuisine and souvenirs. And it is as well common that it starts before Advent (last year it was on November 28) and ends right before Christmas. And no one questions it.. but can it be different? And the answer is “Yes”. In Ukraine in recent years it has also become popular to organize Christmas markets all over the country, but they are peculiarly Ukrainian and I’m going to explain why. First of all, they last during Christmas and a few weeks afterwards. For example, in my native town, Ivano-Frankivsk, it started on December 12 and will be still there up to January 21. Second of all, we use Julian calendar and Ukrainian Christmas is celebrated on January 6 and is followed by a few other major winter holidays. So after Christmas the celebrations only get started.

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