December has always been one of my favorite months as it is filled with snow, New Year preparations and Christmas mood.
This year I had an awesome opportunity to find myself in the city of Munich at the beginning of December, where Christmas was ruling all around. The city was all about Santa Clauses, misletoes, Christmas music, live Christmas carols in the streets, hot roasted almonds and chestnuts, potato pancakes, all kinds of chocolate, Gluwein, scented candles, Christmas tree and gingerbread man cookies and the famous Bavarian Pretzel.
From the bakeries you could smell the freshly baked breads and cakes, the coffee shops were inviting everyone for a hot cup of tea or coffee, every 10-15 meters a wide variety of sausages were offered to you.
In the center of the city a great Christmas market was open. The wooden cottages all dressed in Christmas outfits gifted the city with magic Christmas breath. This mood was spread all around, and it reached all peoples’ hearts. Looking at people’s positive faces and childish enthusiasm one could remember Dickens’s Scrooge who was unable to resist the Christmas magic.
Every hour the bells of the churches started to go. The echoes of their sounds were telling the people the magic tale of Christmas. I stole a tiny piece of this tale and will be keeping deep in my heart.
It was windy and cold outside, but everyone was out enjoying the little precious things. Gluwein and beer together with energetic chatting with friends did not let people be cold. From every corner of the streets you could hear laughter and singing voices. Rare snowfalls were making all this more real and more dreamlike.
What I really enjoyed in the streets were people all dressed in traditional Bavarian clothes. They looked like book characters in their colorful hats with feathers and medium sized pantaloons. These people were all proud of their appearance and were not against posing in front of the cameras of inquisitive tourists.
Each cottage of the Christmas market was representing one part of the Bavarian culture. Wooden curved Christmas tree decorations, porcelain angels and wax Jesus mangers, Bavarian flags and beer glasses, knitted hats and socks and so on and so forth.
Another present for people in Munich was an artist who was giving show every day and was declaring that it was his birthday. His name was often changing depending on the shop name he was standing beside. The showman was a poor man who “begged” money by playing guitar, singing and teasing all the nations. He was a man full of humor and was unbelievably flexible with his audience. He very well knew characteristics of each nation and knew how to make fun of them. When he learnt that we were from Armenia, he asked us to imagine that his guitar case was Ararat. He knew that by reminding us of the Mount Ararat he would make us much more generous. For Japanese the case transferred into Pearl Harbor, and he kindly asked them to bomb it with coins. The highlight of his show was when he gave 10 euros to a girl learning that she was from North Korea. In general he was an extremely talented guitar player and singer and had a good taste in music. Beatles and Rolling Stones were an integral part of his performance.
When I was a child, I was watching colorful movies representing Christmas celebrations in different countries, and I so much desired to be a part of all that. This year I was granted that chance, and don’t convince me that experiencing all that with your beloved has nothing to do with Christmas magic.
P.S. “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” ― Charles Dickens