ANSBACH, Germany (Nov. 10, 2021) — “Was ist los in Franken?” details off-post community events and activities occurring throughout the Franconian region.
Martin’s Day – A German tradition
Martinstag or Martini Nov. 11 commemorates St. Martin (ca. 317-397), Bishop of Tours, one of the most revered European saints. The best-known legend connected with Saint Martin is the dividing of the cloak; Martin, then a soldier in the Roman army, tore his cloak in two pieces to share it with a freezing beggar at Amiens. Later in life he became a bishop. Although Martinstag is a Catholic observance, German Protestants also consider Nov. 11 a special day, the christening day of the Protestant reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). The protestant “Pelzemärtl” brings Franconian children little gifts.
Many towns and villages organize lantern parades for elementary school kids, complete with a St. Martin on horseback and a beggar. Often a small market is connected to the holiday (not a federal holiday). Very popular is also the traditional goose dinner on Martin’s Day.
For Carnival fans the day also marks the beginning of the Fasching season, starting exactly at 11:11 a.m. on Nov. 11.
Ansbach Christmas Market
The traditional Ansbacher Weihnachtsmarkt opens Thursday, Nov. 25 at Martin-Luther-Platz downtown. This year, the market will be spread out through the old part of the city. The market is open daily until Dec. 23.
Dinkelsbühl Christmas Market
Dinkelsbühl – sometimes called the little Rothenburg because of its historical walled city – features a unique little Christmas market, open Nov. 25 through Dec. 21. 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
Weihnachtsmarkt in Fürth
The Fürther Freiheit is site of the Fürth Christmas market, with more than 40 booths offering the traditional Glühwein, egg punch, and Bratwurst, as well as holiday decorations and gift ideas. The market dates are Nov. 25 – Dec 23, open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. To learn more, visit www.tourismus-fuerth.de
Christkindlesmarkt in Nürnberg
Germany’s most famous Christmas Market opens its stalls for visitors from all over the world, right in the middle of the city, on and around Nürnberg main market square, Friday, Nov. 26.
About 180 wooden stalls, decorated with red-and-white cloth, are spread out in the old part of town, offering the traditional goods like Nürnberg Lebkuchen (gingerbread), Früchtebrot (fruit loaves), bakery goods and sweets, typical Christmas decorations such as Christmas tree angels, cribs, tree ornaments and candles, toys, as well as arts and crafts products.
The Zwetschgenmännla (little plum people), are figurines made from prunes, and a popular souvenir. Food and refreshments include, of course, Nürnberger Bratwurst “Drei im Weggla” (three in a bun), and Glühwein (mugs of hot mulled wine).
Using public transportation is recommended. 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
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.
The Rothenburg Reiterlesmarkt is open Nov. 26 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.tourismus.rothenburg.de
Christmas in the Fichtelgebirge
The Fichtelgebirge is a low mountain range north of Nürnberg; in winter it offers not only skiing, sledding and hiking opportunities (weather permitting), but several small Christmas markets. Bayreuth’s Christkind opens the market at the end of November (Nov. 22 – Dec. 23); a Lebkuchen market is hosted by the town of Rehau (Nov. 26-28), with bakers from Germany, Czech and Poland offering their seasonal goods. The Marktredwitz Advent Magic in the Stadtpark with decorated booths, live music, events for children and culinary delights takes place Thursday through Sunday Nov. 25 – Dec. 19. The Bischofsgrün Weihnachtsmarkt, framed by the Schneeberg and Ochsenkopf mountains, takes place the second advent Sunday (Dec. 5).
Winter fun at Playmobil FunPark in Zirndorf
The Playmobil FunPark in Zirndorf is offering Winterzauber, a magical winter event, from Nov. 27, 2021 to March 6, 2022. There will be two ice skating rinks with disco music and skates for rent; the kids can dig for treasures in the pirate laguna or go warm up in the indoor play city.
The park will be closed for the holidays Dec. 24-26, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Admission only with prepurchased online tickets. For more information visit www.playmobil-funpark.de
Romantic Christmas Market in Anwanden, Gut Wolfgangshof
More than 100 crafters and vendors display their products in rustic huts, a cow stable, a grain hall or in a hay attic at the Christmas market in Gut Wolfgangshof (Weitersdorfer Str. 22) in Anwanden, a little town between Nürnberg and Ansbach. The market is open Dec. 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19. Opening hours are Fridays 3 – 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday noon to 8 p.m. Admission prices vary from 7 euros for adults to 1 euro for children 6 to 15 years; youngsters under six enter for free. 2-G rules apply (vaccinated or recovered). To learn more, visit www.gut-wolfgangshof.de