This year for my Birthday, we went to the Christmas Markets in Strasbourg, France. We pulled the kids out of school for 2 days, however because they changed the date of Zuzu's Christmas concert at the last minute to one of those days, she had to miss it.
The concert was a special one, only performed by the children in year 2 and it took place at a local church. The whole thing revolved around a Christingle. What's a Christingle you ask, well you're not the only one. I kept trying to get clarification and people would just say, "you know, the Christingle" or "they go to church with the oranges". It only led to more questions but from what I understand it is a special little church service and you sing and offer up a Christingle, you know. . .
This is what I do know: The orange represents the world, the candle is the light of God, the ribbon symbolizes the pain and blood of Christ and the 4 toothpicks with candy stands for the 4 seasons. Still wondering? Me too. All I know is the song repeated "sing Christingle" a lot and said something about the "light of Christ". Anyhoo because she had to miss the real singing, Zuzu did a concert all by herself in front of our tree. I even lit the Christingle for her and afterward let her eat the candy. Don't know if you're supposed to do that, I guess the whole thing will just remain a mystery.
Back to the Christmas Markets.
We stayed in a lovely hotel.
There were around 10 little markets all around the city and I think we hit them all. This one had a big tree!
It's the capital of Christmas, being the capital of Europe and all. I think it is the oldest Xmas Market in Europe too. It is a really unique city in that it feels like Germany but everyone speaks French. It was one of those areas that went back and forth, belonging to Germany then France and is only 3 miles from the German border. So there you go.
We were in Cologne, Germany last year and like Cologne, Strasbourg has a massive Cathedral in the middle of town.
Unlike Cologne, which was leveled during the wars and completely rebuilt and "new", Strasbourg remained architecturally intact because it was virtually untouched during the wars. It's what makes the area so unique and lovely. Just look at these buildings!
This one was cool too.
Everything was so beautifully decorated.
Like really decorated.
It looked even better at night.
We went along the river and canal areas.
Saw more cool buildings.
Crossed lots of bridges.
Not sure what this big barrel is, but there were more neat buildings.
Here's the church at dusk.
Dolphin, water - he was fun because he rocked up and down. There were other carousels too, but the girls liked this one the best.
That's all for now. Stay tuned for Father Christmas.