BERLIN (AP) – European squares, where people usually gather in crowded stalls to enjoy hot mulled wine, gingerbread, sausages and other delicacies, are just empty squares.
Christmas markets, a valued tradition in Germany and neighboring countries, have joined the long list of annual traditions that have been abolished or reduced this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In November, many European countries imposed partial or stricter blockades when new virus cases jumped. Restrictions are maintained or weakened only in part when Advent begins on Sunday.
The sprawling, lively Nuremberg, Christkindlesmarkt, one of Germany’s most famous holiday markets and traditionally a major tourist attraction, was canceled a month ago. Markets across the country – including Frankfurt, Dortmund and many in Berlin – have suffered the same fate, with authorities canceling events or organizers concluding that there is no point in moving forward with their plans.
Above the border in France, about 300 stalls at the popular Christmas market in Strasbourg will not rise this year. The same story is in the Belgian capital Brussels.
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