New Delhi [India], Dec.3 : The annual German Christmas Market began today with a lot of zeal and laughter at the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, New Delhi.
Celebrating Christmas the German way has been the forte of the German Christmas Market and this year too this fun-filled Christmas market proved the same for the visitors.
The two-day festivity takes place under the aegis of the German Embassy and is supported by the German School and Federation of Indo-German Societies in India The German Christmas Market is visited by more than 12,000 visitors every year.
It is aimed at providing an insight into what Christmas shopping is like in Germany - a unique show in view for the seventeenth successive year.
The highlights of the event this year were German music, Christmas carols, Gingerbread House, German Roof Top Restaurant and Coffee Shop, traditional German christmas cakes, , Waffles, Potato Salad and German Sausages, a stunningly decorated venue, a delicately lit up Christmas tree, live band, lucky draw with exciting prizes, a pulsating kids zone with a on the spot painting competition and magic shows by a German magician, Janko Renos.
And to make the atmosphere all the more Christmas-like, there was `Santa Claus' too distributing gifts to the little ones.
Over 90 exhibitors presented an exclusive palate of interesting lifestyle products and unique gifting ideas for the festive season.
Christmas trees, decorations, candles, cards, souvenirs, jewellery, home accessories, art, stationery, handicrafts, garden accessories, exquisite cutlery and silverware, innovative paper products, designer wear and much more! In the true festive spirit, German families and senior executives were seen serving home- baked cakes, freshly baked waffles and other German specialities while the children from the German School participated in Christmas Choir.
"This is the eighteenth edition of the German Christmas Market and we at the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce are delighted to continue this tradition for years.
It's a perfect platform to celebrate the festive season and promote Indo-German business plus cultural relations.
The much awaited event every year witnesses the presence of the entire expatriate community here, including senior representatives of International and Indian Companies.
The array of products on display include exclusive lifestyle products, Christmas decorations complementing with German Food and beer in an excellent, festive ambience" , states Sonia Prashar, Deputy Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce.
The German Christmas Market has over the years proved to be a successful launch base for companies to test market their products and gain a hands on experience by interacting with their target clients.
German Auto giants like Audi have exquisitely presented their state of the art cars regularly at the German Christmas Market alongside many other well-known companies participating at the event.
The first ever Christmas market, Dresden's "Striezelmarkt", recorded as far back as 1434. In those days, Christmas markets lasted no more than a day or two and tended to confine themselves to the area around the main church.
Nowadays, Christmas markets usually start before the first weekend of Advent (around the end of November) and go on until Christmas Eve or thereabouts.
Some do not finish until Epiphany on 6 January. Christmas markets in Germany's rural areas are no less attractive than those in larger towns and cities, though some only take place on weekends.
Through the years, each market has stayed true to its own particularities, with each specializing on local delicacies and traditional products.
In the past, only local tradesmen were allowed to sell their wares at the city's market, which led to the distinctive regional character of today's markets.
Today, German Christmas markets serve much the same function that they have for centuries - as a festive meeting place for locals and a market for homemade Christmas ornaments and decorations.
Some of the most traditional German handicrafts can be found here in the weeks before Christmas - from nutcrackers, wooden figurines, straw stars and smokers, to cookie tins, glass balls, toys, and tin tree ornaments.
You can buy everything you need for Christmas here: candles, tree decorations, sweets, biscuits, baking tins and toys.
Over time, each market develops a character of its own, influenced by its setting, regional traditions or particular specialities.
The Christmas tree is an important feature in German homes at Christmas time. It is not decorated until Christmas Eve and is the focal point of the table on which Christmas presents are laid out.
Many Catholic churches are decorated with beautiful Nativity scenes during the festive season..