«How do you celebrate Christmas?» – is a highly effective question if you want to puzzle someone from Kazakhstan. That’s right, even though there are indeed some Christians who may attend church service or simply have a family dinner on December 25 or January 7 – depending on their tradition, for the majority of Kazakhstani people the evening of December 24 is merely a dark, cold and snowy evening. Temperatures might easily drop to -30C in Northern Kazakhstan, so, despite erecting a Christmas tree in a city square, there aren’t any Christmas markets sadly. Actually, visiting a sparkling European Christmas market can be found on bucket lists of many non-Europeans I believe.
But what will one find if go to a Czech Christmas market? First of all, what I like about festive markets in Brno is that they all are situated in the city centre, so you can stroll around one after another feeling as if you are in a enchanted town where even trams are covered in lights. Surrounded by a joyous crowd drinking svarak (mulled wine) and medovina (honey wine), don’t forget to grab a warming drink in a reusable cup with a traditional Christmas motifs! Have a look at wooden stalls offering gifts, handicrafts and freshly baked pastries at the Cabbage market, take a photo of a wooden nativity scene at Dominican Square, dance at Moravian Square or visit an ice-skating rink on the way back to Freedom Square, where Advent concerts take place every evening. That festive feeling is unavoidable when here and there you can hear passersby singing Christmas carols together.
Come Christmas time, bustling streets of Brno transform into a place where even strangers can feel united under all those fairy lights because this celebration is not about ugly sweaters and mulled wine, it is about sticking together when it gets cold and dark; it is about flying from different countries and continents to sit around the table with your loved ones; it is even about watching Three Nuts for Cinderella and Morozko every year regardless of the date when you find your presents under the twinkling tree. Yes, we also watch Tri Orisky Pro Popelku in Kazakhstan! 🙂