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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Would Jesus Wear a Santa Clause Outfit?

Prague Christmas Market

Europe is now indulging in its Christmas Markets (that is, of course, Europeans who are CHRISTIAN). In southern Germany these outdoor eat-drink-buy orgies are called “Christkindel markts”; in the UK Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas markets in the 1650s;  Italy calls their markets “Mercatino di Natale”; Luxemborg is a melange of languages and so has several celebration-variations, including carol singers doing such diddies as “An der grousser Hellger Nuecht” sung in Luxembourgish, “Stille Nacht” in German, “White Christmas” in English and “Feliz Navidad” in Spanish. lists the most Xmas Markets in the UK (144); 84 in France; 28 in Austria; Germany has 86; the USA has 16 (a shame, given its rabid Christian underbelly; or perhaps this is the reason for so few?); Esonia has zero markets, which means they’re probably going straight to hell; and the Czech Republic has just one market. 

Andel Christmas MarketOf course, as I’m living in Prague, I can attest that there are indeed far more than just one Jesus-Bursts-From-the-Womb market. In fact every neighborhood has its own market, small or elaborate. In Smichov, a gnarly smoker-cum-grill has numerous sausages & spit-roasted pork (with kraut, naturally) to feed the visitors. In Namesti Miru (only 140 years ago was its own town outside Prague), the huge square outside Saint Ludmila Church has more than 25 stalls that sell everything from beeswax candles (traditional Czech product) to winter textiles and jewelry and trinkets, to Svarak vino (hot wine!) and mead and slivovice.

Old Town Square Xmas MarketIn Prague’s Old Town Square (dating from 1612), there stands a 40-ft tree, numerous stalls far different from any found elswhere in the city, and many more traditional Czech food-stuffs, including roasted chestnuts (Pecene kastany), vanocka (Christmas cake), and the very very traditional trdelnik (roasted pastry roll), of which I can give strong evidence of this sweet treat complementing wonderfully the hot mulled wine.

BTW … Since the story of Jesus is a VIRGIN birth story, I guess my bursts-from-the-womb imagery doesn’t quite fit with accepted cannonical teachings. Chalk up a few more centuries in Purgatory, I guess.


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