Christmas Market Frankfurt

Unfortunately, in 2020 the Christmas Market in Frankfurt am Main has been cancelled due to the Corona pandemic. However, we are confident that this year the Frankfurt Christmas Market will take place like 2021. If not, it would be a great loss for the organizers and all involved businesses. Most of the merchants did not have any income in 2020 and needed aid funds due to Corona.

The Frankfurt Christmas Market attracts 3 million visitors each year, many of them are tourists. It is one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany. The market consists of about 100 trade booths, lots of catering and Glühwein (mulled wine) booths and a few children's carousels. The merchants mainly sell traditional Christmas-related products such as Christmas tree decorations, nutcrackers, wood carvings, children‘s toys, ceramics and candles. Most of them are handmade. However, german clothing can also be found on the Christmas Market. We, for instance, carry high-quality winter caps and hats, as well as scarves and gloves.

The Christmas market has its traditional centres at the Römerberg and at the Paulsplatz. In the recent years, the Frankfurt Christmas Market has been extended north to the Hauptwache (Zeil) and in 2012, the Rosa Weihnacht (Pink Christmas), a LGBT-section, was introduced to the Christmas Market. It is located at the Friedrich-Stolze-Platz.


 

Tradition

A Christmas market without Glühwein (mulled wine) would be unthinkable and for this reason the Glühwein booths are for sure the most visited places at Frankfurt's Christmas market. Many tourists take the Glühwein cups home as a souvenir. The ceramic cups are always decorated with a Christmas motif, often with a reference to Frankfurt and the actual year.

It is also a tradition to eat the so-called "Bethmännchen" during Christmas season. That is a pastry speciality in the shape of a ball, made mainly of marzipan dough and crushed almonds. When you visit the Frankfurt Christmas market, you should take the opportunity to try these "Bethmännchen". You can find them displayed at some of the catering booths. While walking through the Christmas market, you might also take a look at the huge Christmas tree at the Römerberg. If you like, you can look at some photos of the trees from previous years under the section "Impressions 2019" and "Impressions 2021" on this website.
 
On the first Saturday before the first Advent, there is an other highlight, which is called the "Great Ringing". It is the simultaneously ringing of the bells of several churches in Frankfurt. It starts at 4.30 pm and lasts for about 30 minutes. It can nicely be heard at the Paulsplatz. It is a Frankfurt experience, that you will certainly keep in good memory.

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History

The first documented mention of the Frankfurt Christmas Market dates back to 1393. Its original purpose in the Middle Ages was to enable the citizens of Frankfurt to stock up on necessary goods for the upcoming winter. At that time, only citizens of Frankfurt were allowed to sell goods at the market. Merchants from other areas were not permitted. Over the centuries, the market's character developed more and more into what we would today understand as a Christmas market. So, over the centuries, it became standard to put up Christmas trees at the market. In the 19th century finally, the city of Frankfurt passed a resolution that severely restricted the goods that could be sold at the Christmas market. Only typical Christmas articles such as gingerbread, Christmas trees and children's toys were allowed to be sold. The Frankfurt Christmas market at that time would probably look quite similar to the today's Christmas Market in many aspects. Back then, like today, were many small booth with merchants offering traditional Christmas items.

In the past the Frankfurt Christmas market took place at the Römerberg, like it still does today. But in our times, it expanded southwards towards the Main River and northwards to Paulsplatz, since the number of visitors and merchants increased substantially. 

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