Festival Time December

Written by  larapiegeler

As December and Christmas comes round again, join the trickle of people heading for the town square and you’ll find gluhwein, ice skating, gifts, decorations, choirs, carousels and all manner of festival treats under the Christmas tree.

Germany is at its festival best in December, try Rothenburg ob der Tauber for fairytale charm and Cologne, Strasbours or Berlin for a December Christmas festival on a huge scale. Mulhouse's December festival celebrations are the biggest in France and the most extravagantly decorated with Christmas cheer. Try Salzburg in December for elegant sleigh rides, Copenhagen for fairground and Christmas festival fun, Graz for the famous sound of glockenspiels (which seems to transport the visitor into a giant, wind-up music box world), December in Budapest for children’s puppet theatres and Helsinki for wonderful Christmas tree lights that easily shrug off the 23-hour December nights. The December festival list goes on… Closer to home Edinburgh's’s Christmas festival, with tempting December farmer’s market, is spectacular, Winchester's December festival is cosy with cathedral-side stalls, Birmingham’s Victoria Square is a mini Frankfurt in December and London’s Hyde Park Christmas Festival is a blend of old and new - a Christmas food festival with a fun park.

And it’s still not over… there’s New Year’s Eve to come! Edinburghers call it Hogmanay and stretch it out over four brilliant, fiery December festival nights of torchlight processions, flame sculptures, the ceremonial burning of a Viking ship, fife and drum music and a street carnival. New York’s Times Square buzzes with an inimitable mix of nostalgia and inexorable newness and the New Year’s moment sheading December is one to remember.

There will be those of us whose blue December spirits can’t be roused even by a festival, Christmas tree, musical rainbow fairy lights and fake snow, and if you’re one of them, perhaps the Falls Festival would suit you better. Yes, it’s a New Year’s Eve music festival and yes, you have to stay in a tent, but the bands are world class and you can see comedy, watch films and do yoga… and it’s as hot, sunny and trouble free as an Australian December can be.

Further Festival Gems:

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