According to Wikipedia:
“A Christmas market, also known as Christkindlmarkt (literally: Baby Jesus Market), Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, Christkindlimarkt, and Weihnachtsmarkt, is a street market associated with the celebration of Christmas during the four weeks of Advent. These markets originated in Germany, but are now being held in many other countries. The history of Christmas markets goes back to the Late Middle Ages in the German-speaking part of Europe, and in many parts of the former Holy Roman Empire that includes many eastern regions of France. The Christmas markets of Bautzen were first held in 1384. Dresden‘s Striezelmarkt was first held in 1434. Frankfurt was first mentioned in 1393, Munich in 1310, and Augsburg in 1498. In Austria, Vienna’s “December market” can be considered a forerunner of Christmas markets and dates back to 1298.
In many towns in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, Advent is usually ushered in with the opening of the Christmas market or “Weihnachtsmarkt”. In southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria, it is called a “Christkind(e)l(s)(i)markt” (German language, literally meaning “Christ child market”). Traditionally held in the town square, the market has food, drink and seasonal items from open-air stalls accompanied by traditional singing and dancing. On opening night at the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, and in some other towns, onlookers welcome the “Christkind” (originally boy Jesus, but often depicted as an angel-like girl), acted out by a local child.”
The Christmas Markets are my favorite time of year in Austria, and over the weekend I went for the first time this season. There are several main Christmas markets in Linz:
1) Volksgarden: across from the Musik Theater. This Market is good for children, as there are a few rides. This is by far the largest market in Linz, and include booths not only for Gluhwein and Punsch, but also Austrian sweet snacks and other traditional foods.
A month ago I was very excited because they were setting up for the markets.
Now the markets are here!
2) Hauptplatz: the city center of Linz has the second largest Market. There are no rides, and the booths are similar to the type that can be found in the Volksgarden.
3) Pfarrplatz. The smallest of the three markets features the same type of booths as the other two markets. There are no rides, but there is always a booth with sheep’s wool gloves, socks, etc. They even bring the sheep!
If you are ever thinking about traveling to Austria, make sure it is from mid-November to Christmas, as the markets are truly something to experience!