Christmas somehow makes more sense in Vienna.
That’s the conclusion I reached in a visit this winter, when I happened upon Vienna’s “Christkindlmarkt.” The outdoor market and festival is located in the city’s Rathausplatz, which is basically their city hall… never mind that it looks like a Gothic church or palace.
Actually, do mind. The building is only 150 years old, designed in the Neo-Gothic style. But, it is a majestic setting for the Christmas festival.
The market is filled with stalls selling ornaments that look as if they were painted by hands hundreds of years ago. It’s the same glass, same hand-made designs.
And that is why Christmas made so much more sense to me while I was in Vienna. It was the inherent history all around me which colored a celebration that is as much about tradition, and connecting with past wisdom, as it is about current-day celebration.
At Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt, I felt a part of that past, threaded together with the many throughout time who bought those same glass ornaments, who celebrated a season full of symbolism, tradition, and hope.