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Gingle bell gingle bell gingle all the way!

I can not wait for Christmas! I know your reading and thinking what about Halloween and Thanksgiving. Those are also my other 2 favorite holidays but here in Germany the celebration is different. They do not have Halloween here. Don’t get me wrong the American tradition of Halloween is slowly being adapted here but no one go house to house to get candy. Just costume wearing and little party. The German Halloween is call Fasching. It is a period marked with great joy and occasion. Fasching as a term derived from the word Fastnacht, meaning “eve of the beginning of the fast.” Linguists speculate that “Fasching” also developed out of the Middle High German “vaschanc” or “vastschang” (Fastschank), which means the last drink served before the Lenten fast. Typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party. People often dress up or masquerade during the celebrations.

Thanksgiving is an American holdiay. It started when the pilgrims wanted to thank the Indians for all their help. However, Christian Germans too celebrate a day of Thanksgiving to God for a plentiful harvest. On the first Sunday of October visitors to German churches will find a plethora of fruits, vegetables, sheaves of grain, and also baked goods, as decorations around the altars. Visitors to market places and fairgrounds will oftentimes find Erntedankfest (literally: harvest gratitude festival) dances, displays, booths, a special Erntefeuer (harvest fire), and other festivities to celebrate this occasion. Thanksgiving is just a Christian event usually on a Sunday but not a dedicated party or celebration event. Sometimes peoples have some special decoration for church service and/or kids having a special performance. No turkeys around. I can't wait....!

For Christmas they go out all the way. Christmas is so much fun here. The celebration begins 11-24 to 12-23. Almost one month of celebrating Christmas! They have a Christmas market (Weihnachtsmarkt also know as Christkindlmarkt). It pull in tons of residents and visitors from different cities and all over the world. All of Germany have this market in pretty much each cities. The bigger the cities ofcourse the bigger the markets and festival. Here in Esslingen they have two: Traditional Christmas market and the Medieval Christmas market. They sells crafts, have games, drink Gluhwein (hot wine that taste so yummy and keep you warm on a nice cold night walking through the market). Plenty of eating and performance on stage. Does not cost a thing to get in or watch. It is totally free. Just have to pay for drink, beverage, and crafts. I will talk more about that when time comes. Want to also share with you that they have Christmas market in different part of America that is also nice. Not as big as here but atleast you can get a taste of feel of a typical German Christmas market, taste some Gluhwein and traditional German food! The vendors from what I learn when I attended a few in the USA that they are really Germans who travel to America once a year to share their customs and I think also in Canada. I think this is so cool. Let me give you the link encase you would like to see if it happen in the downtown of your city: http://www.germanfoods.org/consumer/events/christmasmarkets.cfm
This link is for people who live in Canada. I notice the market there is only for a few days! http://www.christkindl.ca/

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