There’s nothing quite like a German Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt). And the Hamburg Christmas Market is probably my favorite. It’s the Weihnachtsmarkt of my childhood and probably the only one that serves Fischbrötchen (fish on a roll).
This video of the Hamburg Christmas Market, I filmed last week at two different markets that are near each other: the Weisser Zauber at Jungfernstieg (on the Alster River) and the Hamburger Weihnachtsmarkt at the Rathausmarkt (city hall square). I filmed this video before the attack on the Berlin Christmas Market.
For several days, I contemplated if I should publish this video at all – in the aftermath of such a tragedy. Then it became obvious: of course, I would publish a German Christmas Market video this week! As a matter of fact, by now I feel lucky that I had filmed such a video during my trip back home to Germany so I could take a stand this week. It’s very important to me that I, together with people around the world, celebrate the spirit of Christmas and of German Christmas Markets especially this week!
At German Christmas Markets you get to experience the true spirit of Christmas, as I understand it. I flock to these markets in Germany because they remind me of what these holidays are about: community, family, love, peace, giving, fun, bright lights in dark and cold times, and the joys of life. Germans and foreigners get together with friends and family at Christmas Markets to enjoy hot beverages and fresh-made food and take their time to select handmade crafts as gifts to people they love. These markets are not about consumerism or religion.
Christmas Markets are a clear counterpoint to the hate, fear, destruction and the need for violence and intimidation that terrorists embody and want to spread. These people may succeed in killing, spreading terror and breaking hearts. But then we get up the next day and spread love, compassion, joy, peace, giving and creativity again. The terrorists are NOT succeeding in spreading their hate, fear and need for violence and intimidation! This video is my humble attempt to take a stand against terrorists and to celebrate humanity.
In this video about the Hamburg Christmas Market, you will see my best friend Erik Jürgensen smiling and drinking a hot chocolate. I celebrate him and our friendship. I also celebrate all the people who have shown kindness and compassion to me and others. Over the last few days, I was very moved by all the friends who have reached out to me to make sure I, my family and friends were okay. It’s been especially heartening how many “online friends” reached out – from all over the world with all kinds of different backgrounds. While on one hand, there are people who hate so much and refuse to get along, on the other hand there are so many people who connect with strangers online (and in person) to share their creations and learn about each others cultures with open hearts and open minds. I celebrate that!
But people died at the Breitscheidplatz Christmas Market in Charlottenburg, Berlin, this week. For their families and friends, it must be impossible to think of celebrating and joy these days. My heart aches for them. My own sister-in-law and nephew were at that market one day before the attack. I can’t imagine how I would feel if they had been there one day later.
I wish I would know what to do specifically to help prevent such tragedies. They shouldn’t be happening. No one should lose loved ones this way – or be witness to such attacks. But alas, I don’t know what to do besides making and sharing videos, photographs and texts about the joys of life and nature to hopefully inspire others to lead happy lives and be creative instead of being miserable and destructive.
With all of this in mind, I wish you the merriest of holiday seasons you can have and a happy 2017!
The song in this video is an adaptation of the English traditional carol “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” performed by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. Thank you, Kevin, for using your creativity to spread joy.
I’ll be posting photos of the Hamburg Christmas Market throughout this week to the In Another Minute 2016 Flickr album, on Google+ and Facebook… and there
will be is now a dedicated post on my blog: Photos from Hamburg Christmas Markets