Make One Of These Treats With A Loved One This Weekend

Christmas Market

November 28, 2017

Allan Stevo

In mid-November, the usual vendors are cleared out of the Main Square in Bratislava and carpenters spend a few days preparing it for its new seasonal look. They carefully lay out wooden foundations. Slowly over the next few days these foundations take shape and become the 100+ booths that will cover the Main Square and two adjacent squares for the next month. From these small booths, the citizens of Bratislava and all their visitors will buy the tastes of the season, the delicacies that characterize Central Europe at this time of year.

Vianočné trhy (or “Christmas markets”) the Slovaks call it, Christkindlmarkt say the Viennese, Karácsonyi vásár say the Hungarians of Budapest, and Vánoční trhy say the Czechs – words for the same thing – a big square filled with vendors selling delicacies of the season.

In Slovakia a Christmas market looks a little different than in the places mentioned above, but just like any other situation in Central Europe, traditions, foods, and happenings are not dependent on which side of a border you’re standing on. With little tweaks, you can’t be entirely sure whose city’s Christmas market you are in, only that you’re in Central Europe.

In Bratislava, the fact that it’s advent means that for the next three and a half weeks, text messages will pop up on your phone from friends you haven’t spoken to in months saying “let’s go for a varene vino at the Christmas Market tonight – 6ish?” And you’ll be excited to receive this message, because you were just wondering to yourself “should I stop by the Christmas Market at 6 or at 8 tonight?”

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Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

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