ARTS+ENTERTAINMENT Christmas Markets cont. CHRISTMAS MARKETS AROUND THE WORLD Chicago The Christmas market in Chicago is run by the German American Services, so there is a lot of tradition added to proceedings – after all, Germany is where the traditon of Christmas markets began. This market is one of the largest to be found outside Europe and it is now a staple in Chicago’s winter calendar having started back in 1996. Taking place in a variety of gorgeous wooden chalet huts that are perfect for finding superb gifts, the market goes on until Christmas Eve when Christkind makes an appearance. The German theme extends to the food and drink too, so you can pick up bratwurst, stollen, and gluhwein amongst many other delicious treats. New York New York in the run up to Christmas is certainly something special, and if you’re there you should definitely visit the Union Square 50 Holiday Market. Artisanal woodwork, unique knitted clothing, and plenty of delicious homemade food is on offer – you can even blow your own glass Christmas tree ornament! There are around 150 different stalls and approximately one million people attend this market each year. San Francisco The Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco is a fun-filled event that entices more and more people every year. Every day is Christmas Eve here and you can walk along winding streets reminiscent of Victorian London. As you enjoy your Christmas shopping in these unique surroundings, you’ll see quaint shops, art galleries, apothecaries, and of course characters from the much-loved books of Charles Dickens. Say hello to Tiny Tim, keep your wallet safe from the Artful Dodger, and try to make Ebeneezer Scrooge smile. If you can. Hong Kong Hong Kong may not be the first place you think of when Christmas time rolls around, but perhaps it should be. Hong Kong’s Winterfest takes places in Victoria Harbour, offering stunning views of the cityscape and beyond. The skyscrapers are done up for the occasion, festooned with twinkling lights, and there is a huge Christmas tree in the centre of the market. This festival and market is an intriguing mix of Eastern and Western traditions, so it is both festive and unusual – a great combination. The atmosphere is absolutely enchanting, and, if you’ve never enjoyed Christmas carols and window shopping while eating a bowl of delicious congee (rice cooked in chicken broth) then this is your chance.