One of the things I love most about Christmas markets in Germany is drinking glühwein, or hot spiced wine. Marlon and I once received a bottle of glühwein as a gift when we were still living in Singapore, and it stayed untouched in our refrigerator for over a year simply because we couldn’t bear the thought of drinking hot wine in a hot, humid climate.
The whole atmosphere is part of the enjoyment of glühwein: being all bundled up, feeling the cold winter air on your face, warming your hands with the cup, standing under the twinkling lights that brighten up a prematurely dark afternoon or evening.
I think we must have hit every single glühwein stall in Dusseldorf. To attract attention in a thick crowd, every stall has its own little gimmick, and that’s part of the fun too.
I’m pretty sure this glühwein carousel on Flinger Strasse features celebrities, whom you will probably only recognize if you’re German. I’m willing to guess that the portly lady on the left is Angela Merkel.
There’s kitschy… and then there’s classy. These beautiful chandeliers lit up the stall at the Sternchenmarkt, or Little Star Market, on the Stadtbrückchen square.
Traditional or trendy? These huge copper pots at the Marktplatz market are both, and they’re attention-grabbing, too. I loved the simple, clean lines of the terracotta mugs at this stall, but I sat out this round so I didn’t get my hands on them.
Every glühwein stall has its own mug with the year and the name of the market. A small deposit is built into the price of the drink, which you can forfeit if you want to take the mug home.
After three winters of Christmas market trips, Marlon and I have found ourselves with a small collection of these glühwein mugs. Still, we never seem to have enough mugs at home at this time of year, when we’re constantly making coffee and tea at home.
This year we added another one to the collection, mostly because it’s the coolest one we’ve seen so far: a tall, skinny frosted glass mug from the market on Schadowplatz.
I can just imagine Tala in her teenage years rolling her eyes at our mugs. “Can you please get rid of this tacky glühwein mug collection? Please?!”
Sorry, anak. I got you one of your own: a little star mug from your first Christmas market. Mommy can’t throw that away, now can she?