White Advent: Colorful Lights, Mulled Wine, and Christmas Atmosphere

Christina/ December 16, 2023/ The daily grind, Culture

It rarely happens, but when it does: snow in the pre-Christmas season. Right on time for the beginning of the Christmas month of December, the white beauty falls from the sky. With a powdery layer on the streets, the Christmas spirit sets in. The Advent season couldn’t start any better. And when on the first of December, it’s said, “Magni turns on the lights,” the weather has already provided the perfect stage.

Mulled Wine from St. Petrus
Since no one knows how long this pre-winter atmosphere will last, the rest of the weekend is also dedicated to the cozy trio: snow, mulled wine, and contemplation. The next day, we head to the local Christmas market in front of the historical backdrop at Domplatz. We make a beeline for the stall with the winemaker’s mulled wine. I’ve been a fan of the St. Petrus vineyard for years. Here, the brew tastes like wine and not just sugar. The first sips feel really good. That’s the Advent feeling. The air around us smells enticingly of almonds, bratwurst, and other treats.

After this first refreshment, we set off for the “live” Advent calendar in the foyer of the Grand Theater.

Live Advent Calendar at the State Theater
Expectantly, we reach the theater’s forecourt. I’m a bit confused. Somehow, I had expected the first stalls with mulled wine and waffles to be here already. Not so. The playhouse opens its doors at 4:30 p.m. In the foyer, we finally spot a man offering drinks and sweet pastries in a very small space. We ask the staff about the live Advent calendar, but initially, we only get shrugged shoulders. Eventually, we learn that the “stage” is right next to the theater canteen.

Since there’s also a theater performance for children on the same day, it’s quite busy. We’re still waiting for things to unfold. Then we realize that this door is meant for the very young audience. They’re supposed to paint and write a wishlist. Well, we were hoping for a different surprise. So, it’s back to the Christmas market.

A Northern Light Dawns on Me
Under light snow flurries, we stand across from the cathedral at a stall with game specialties, the “Genusshandwerker.” As a vegetarian, it’s not of interest to me, but my companion enjoys a wild boar sausage in a bun with red cabbage. Meanwhile, the market has become very crowded. For the finale, we want to treat ourselves to a Northern Light at the “iss nordisch” stall. It has really gotten cold, and it’s nice that the rum warms us from the inside. I still remember how small this stand was over 10 years ago. In the meantime, it has grown from a tent to the size of a caravan.

A Harz Snow Dream
On the third day, Sunday, the Goslar Christmas market is on the agenda. I particularly like the Christmas forest here. But before indulging, effort is on the program. The snowfall overnight and still ongoing has turned the city at the Harz into a winter wonderland. At this point, I feel like Cinderella with the three hazelnuts. Untouched, crisp snow crunches under our soles. From the train station, we go up the Upper Triftweg into the forest to the Steinberg tower. Wonderful! It’s quiet, contemplative, and truly reflective. We practically stomp through the snow, go down to the Granestausee, half past it, and back to the imperial city with the goal of the Christmas forest.

Upon arrival, we enjoy the extraordinary atmosphere under snow-covered fir branches. It’s relatively quiet here, as the space between the trees is limited, preventing crowding. It’s a place to linger if it weren’t for our wet shoes and feet. Unfortunately, we’re quite frozen, so we leave this enchanting place after just one mulled wine. But, who knows? Perhaps there will be a second chance for a white Advent?

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