[This article is from 2014. For this year’s schedule, refer to our article about the 2016 Reston Christkindlmarkt.]
December is finally upon us! With it come the lights, decorations and festive merriment of the holidays. At Modern Reston, one of our most favorite holiday events is the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) Christkindlmarkt here in Reston. This year it takes place on Thursday, December 4, 2014 from 4pm – 9pm, and we can’t wait!
German Christmas markets offer traditional delights like spiced mulled wine, gingerbread and sausage, plus hand-crafted toys, nutcrackers, ornaments and candles. These holiday markets are especially beautiful and charming in the evenings in quaint German towns where you can stroll with warm chestnuts and sip glühwein.
We couldn’t help but wonder how old, exactly, these markets are and when did they come into being?
A quick search tells us that the first known markets date back to the late middle ages in German-speaking parts of the Holy Roman Empire. Vienna’s first market is said to go all the way back to 1294! These celebrations take place during the four weeks of Advent to usher in Christmas. Little fairytale villages, traditional food, amazing Christmas decorations, merchandisers selling pieces of wonders in their stylish wood stalls are all part of this European concept.
Germans brought a whole slew of Christmas traditions to America including the Christmas tree, the concept of Santa Claus and of course, Christmas markets. These markets are relatively new to us in comparison to Germany. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is home to a large German community that established it’s Christkindlmarkt just over two decades ago.
Since then, a flood of markets have cropped up all over the States. Chicago is home to the country’s largest while Elkhardt Lake, Wisconsin’s most closely resembles the Old World Nüremburg market. It features wares from different cultures including Czech blown-glass, Russian nesting dolls, German hand-carved smokers, Turkish pashminas, and Estonian woolens.
This year the Reston Christmas Market will donate its proceeds to the local organization Cornerstones. The event is family-friendly but also makes for a romantic date night. I plan to leave the kids at home this year to thoroughly enjoy the Bavarian music, authentic pea soup and spiced wine with my honey.
December 4, 2014
4pm – 9pm
11150 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston VA 20901
*Don’t miss the fragment of the Berlin Wall that is on display in front of the Armed Forces building.