ANSBACH, Germany (Dec. 4, 2018) – “Was ist los in Franken?” details off-post community events and activities occurring throughout the Franconian region.
Franconian Christmas Market Ansbach
The traditional Franconian Ansbach Christmas market is now open downtown at Martin-Luther-Platz. The market is open daily until Dec. 24; opening hours are Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Thursday through Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. The market closes at 1 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. A crafts exhibition in the Stadthaus (first floor, co-located with the tourist information office) features handmade Christmas decorations and much more. For more details, including an event program and a site map, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/139943500051256
Christkindlesmarkt in Nürnberg
Every year, Germany’s most famous Christmas Market opens its stalls for visitors from all over the world, right in the middle of the city, on Nürnberg Main Market Square. As every year, by Christmas Eve, more than two million people from all over the world will have visited the Nürnberg Christmas Market.
About 180 wooden stalls, decorated with red-and-white cloth, hold the traditional goods: Nürnberg Lebkuchen (gingerbread), Früchtebrot (fruit loaves), bakery goods and sweets, typical Christmas articles such as Christmas tree angels, cribs, tree ornaments and candles, toys as well as arts and crafts products. The Zwetschgenmännla (plum people), little figures made from prunes, make a popular souvenir. Refreshments include, of course, Nürnberger Bratwurst and Glühwein (mugs of hot mulled wine).
Using public transportation is always recommended, especially on weekends. The market is about ten minutes by foot downhill from the Hauptbahnhof (main train station). It is open daily 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., finally closing at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Detailed information in English can be found at www.christkindlesmarkt.de
Kinderweihnacht – Nürnberg
The Kinderweihnacht, a special Christmas market for children with historical carrousels, Ferris wheel, train, glass and candle workshops and Christmas bakery, is located on Hans-Sachs-Platz, right around the corner of the famous Nürnberg Christkindlesmarkt. Opening times are daily 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. through Dec. 24 (closes at 2 p.m.). To learn more, go to www.christkindlesmarkt.de
The “Reiterlesmarkt” of Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Once a year, the medieval town of Rothenburg is transformed into a winter wonderland during the annual Reiterlesmarkt; this wonderful Christmas market has been the highlight of the festive Christmas season in Rothenburg since the 15th century. Today the narrow and winding streets and the squares around the Town Hall, its archways and the market square are still lined with stalls where one can find almost anything associated with a German Christmas market: pastries, white mulled wine and handcrafted decorations.
Numerous cultural events are held in conjunction with the market. Daily events include a guided tour starting at 2 p.m. at the market square, and a visit by the Pelzmärtel (German Santa) at 4:30 p.m. Every day a new window of the “advent calendar” on the town hall is opened at 5 p.m.; a concert by a brass band follows at 5:30 p.m.
The Rothenburg Reiterlesmarkt is open through Dec. 23; opening hours are Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. For further information about the Rothenburg market contact the Rothenburg Tourismus Service on Marktplatz 2 at 09861-404-800 or email@example.com, or visit the website at www.tourismus.rothenburg.de
Erlangen on Ice
The public ice skating rink on Marktplatz (between Paulibrunnen and Palais Stutterheim) in Erlangen is located near the Christmas market, and is open daily until Jan. 6. Skates are for rent for 3 euros, admission is free. To learn more, visit http://www.erlangen-marketing.de
Ice Rink in Gunzenhausen
Gunzenhausen has put up an ice skating rink on the Marktplatz; highlights include an ice disco and “Eisstockschiessen,” Bavarian curling. The ice rink is open until Jan. 6; to learn more, go to https://eisbahn.gunzenhausen.de
Herrieden Christmas Market
The Herrieden Christmas market in the main square will take place Dec. 21 and 22. The booths, manned by volunteers, are offering food and beverages, as well as hand-made ornaments and other little decorations. The opening ceremony is Friday at 5 p.m., when the mayor and the Christkind ring in the season together with the local children’s choir.
Medieval Christmas Market in Fürth
The Medieval Christmas Market in Fürth takes place at the Freiheit until Dec. 23; it is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and offers crafts and performances, campfires, jugglers, fire artists and much more. To learn more, visit https://www.facebook.com/mittelalterweihnachtsmarkt
Bad Windsheim Christmas market
The Christmas market in Bad Windsheim at Marktplatz is open Thursday through Sunday, until Dec. 23. For more details visit https://www.br.de/franken/inhalt/heimat/bad-windsheim-weihnachtsmarkt100.html
Dinkelsbühl Christmas Market
Dinkelsbühl – sometimes called the little Rothenburg because of its historical walled city – features a unique little Christmas market, open through Dec. 23. Booths offer not only the usual food and beverages, but all kinds of decoration of gift items. Worth mentioning is the arts and crafts bazaar, tucked away in a building in the corner of the market with handmade brick-a-brac and trinkets. The market is open 1 – 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekends. To learn more, visit https://www.tourismus-dinkelsbuehl.de/events-erlebnis/weihnachtsmarkt/
New Year’s Concert in Herrieden
The traditional Herrieden New Year’s concert takes place Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. in the aula of the Mittelschule Herrieden (Steinweg 8). The orchestra “Erzgebirgische Philharmonie Aue” is playing operetta music by Jaques Offenbach, Johann Strauß, Franz Lehar and others. Tickets can be purchased at the Stadtkasse Herrieden (inside the Rathaus Herrnhof 10) or at the box office on site; prices vary from 8 to 15 euros.
Three Kings Holiday
Three Kings Day or Epiphany on Jan. 6 is called “Heilig Drei Könige” or “Dreikönigstag” and is a holiday in Bavaria and Austria. Traditionally members of the local church community walk around to collect money for charity projects. The group is called the Sternsinger (star singers) and is usually comprised of four children or teenagers, dressed up as the three kings and a star bearer. They ring the door bell, sing a traditional song or recite a poem or prayer and write the blessing for the year above the front door with chalk. The blessing will always contain the current year and the letters C+M+B, which stand for “Christus mansionem benedicat,” “May Christ Bless this House.”
The information on local host nation events is provided through the auspices of the USAG Ansbach Public Affairs Office (PAO). All details provided are for informational purposes only and are a representation of typical events conducted in the local community. The PAO grants no element of exclusivity to any outside agency or business and any reference to commercial or retail activities implies no endorsement or recommendation by the U. S. Army or its agencies. Participation in any event or activity described herein is strictly voluntary and should be done so only after careful advisement and consideration of the safety and security environment at each specific location.