Most seasonal markets in Germany have similar items available, while others have unique things to draw the crowds. The Stuttgart market follows the schedule of most, opening up near US Thanksgiving because that is often close to the first Sunday in Advent. That means it’s not always the same weekend- could be end of November or early December, depending on the year. When we were in Dresden over Thanksgiving weekend, that was the opening of their market.
Most markets wrap up immediately before Christmas, with just a few open the week before New Year’s Eve. Speyer is one of the only ones I’m aware of that is open the last week of December. Just about every market sells some form of lanterns and seasonal illumination. The first year, we got a white paper lantern on a base that can sit on a windowsill. Last year we got an orange star with a cord for hanging, since our new house had hooks over the living room window. This year it was time for something even more fun!
Now we are just going to have to figure out what to do with our stars in the US with a German plug power cord. I enjoyed the Stuttgart market this year with a friend from out of town, who couldn’t quite understand why I was looking for the brush vendor. You have not really been to a German market until you see a booth filled with hundreds of different kinds of brushes and brooms! Last year I couldn’t think of any brushes we needed, but of course two weeks later I started a list of brushes to get this year. You can get plastic brushes in any old store, but the range of specialty brushes at the market stand is unbelievable.
For example, I got a glass water bottle this fall, which has helped me to increase my water intake. The glass straw is super helpful, and I got the perfect cleaner at the market brush vendor. I didn’t care for the typical plastic sink brush for flower vases, and got good advice as well as a couple of choices from the brush sales person. Of course, I couldn’t find the list of brushes at home from last January, although I found it the week after the market closed. But I’m happy with my two new specialty brushes.
I didn’t take a photo of the cookie cutter vendor, or the jewelry booths, or the cute ceramic houses with candles inside. Then there’s all the food and beverages, ranging in quality from so so to outstanding! Best to bring cash, as few vendors take credit cards, even if you try to buy a few ceramic houses as gifts for others.