German Christmas markets thrive despite the pandemic
29 Nov 2020
An overview of a traditional Christmas market last year. AP
Gulf Today Report
Although the pandemic didn’t stop the Landshut Christmas market in southern Germany from opening, it came with a different twist this year.
Purchasing of roasted chestnuts, mulling steamed drinks and enjoy Christmas carols were all done from inside the car to curb the spread of the virus.
Since the opening, several cars roll into the drive-in market after dark to enjoy the atmosphere.
People visit with their cars a drive in Christmas market in Landshut. AFP
In an orderly manner, the occupants are expected to wait for an employee to knock on their window with the menu. After placing their savoury orders, they can drive to the next hut to get sweets.
Patrick Schmit, market organiser and owner of the Zollhaus Landshut restaurant said despite the pandemic, they wanted to give people a bit of Christmas cheer and also help business owners get through tough times.
"We take our inspiration from fast-food chains," he added.
An employee in front of a sales booth at the Christmas market. AFP
Currently, Germany is battling with the second wave of COVID-19, it has placed strict restrictions including limiting annual Christmas markets.
The markets have been part of Germany’s Christmas tradition since the 15th century.
Therefore, cities across the country have come up with different innovations for the Christmas market tradition to thrive despite the pandemic.
In Berlin's Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district, small clusters of huts have been spread across several streets, though food and drink cannot be consumed on-site.
People at the Landshut Christmas drive-in market. AFP
Nuremberg Christmas market has been cancelled but an online traditional opening ceremony was held.
Kalkar Christmas market is open but it is a drive-in.