自體感知的迷走地圖-逛逛英國聖誕市集

 

自體感知的迷走地圖-逛逛英國聖誕市集

My Sensation Map- Roaming in the British Christmas Market

時序進入冷冽的11月,身在英國常已窩在被窩無法動彈,縮著頭滑著手機注意起台北市政府與法國合作,將在101舉辦法國聖誕市集,這樣的市集風潮讓身處英國的我,再次走進這充滿聖誕氣氛的城市,感受這聖誕節慶。

在沒有夜市文化的國家,聖誕市集算是難得的”夜市”,英國每個大小城鎮在聖誕節前一個月,已經開始陸陸續續有聖誕市集,短則一周一晚的市集,長則維持一個半月的大市集。

倫敦海德公園每年的聖誕市集又稱Winter Wonderland,雖然說是市集,但規模卻可以和遊樂園相比,吃喝玩樂應有盡有。進入市集,有著十幾米高的摩天輪,大型的雲霄飛車、自由落體、溜冰場還有海盜船等遊樂設施,從早到晚低溫的倫敦都熱鬧起來了! 當然,市集除了各種遊樂設施,也少不了各式各樣的攤位,小吃的部分,有各式的法式薄餅(類似在台灣常吃的可麗餅);另一部分是以德國為主的食物,像是德國香腸、烤乳豬、蝴蝶餅三明治…..等。讓我驚訝的是,居然有糖炒栗子的攤位,這在一般的倫敦市區要找還找不到呢!

在英國,因為寒冷又多雨的天氣,小酌一杯是來到市集必定停留的一攤,酒吧的攤位大概每十步的距離就有一間,其中不能錯過的是熱紅酒(Mulled Wine),熱紅酒的成分每家不同,大部份是葡萄釀的,但也有蘋果或梨子釀的西打酒,這在低於10度的溫度裡,小小一杯約是一份濃縮咖啡的份量,後勁十足\喝個一兩杯就微醺了。當然,這對已經習慣低溫的在地人,基本上還是會豪邁地喝著一大杯的冰啤酒啊!

另外,由於是聖誕市集,不乏許多小巧的手工藝品攤位,從項鍊飾品到居家擺飾,許多精緻又特別的工藝品。在這邊,不得不提一下在伯明罕的德國法蘭克福市集,由於英國伯明罕市和德國的法蘭克福市是長久的姊妹市,每年的聖誕節,都會有德國風味的攤位。雖然我還沒拜訪德國,但在這市集看到好多來自德國的手工工藝品。最出名的莫非是胡桃鉗娃娃了! 有幾個攤位,擺了一排排高矮不一的胡桃鉗大軍,很有士氣;還有許多德國風的陶瓷小屋、玻璃蠟燭燈飾、聖誕樹的吊飾,大部分的飾品是木製或是金屬的工藝製品,每個都很小巧精美。

聖誕市集除了市集區域的妝點,市區、街道也都換上聖誕燈飾,整個城市有著溫暖的聖誕氣氛,迎接聖誕節的到來。雖然不知道聖誕市集的由來,但大家在這寒冷的天氣裡,朋友、家人一起在街上走走、逛逛,享受不同文化的食物、音樂,感受朋友、親人團聚的氣氛,或許這是聖誕市集另一個溫暖人心的地方。

 

Since the brutally cold November has arrived, I have been paralyzed in my bed most of the time, crawled up with my cellphone in hand. I noticed that the Taipei City Government collaborated with France to hold a French Christmas market at Taipei 101. The market spirit has caught me in the UK, so I once again step out of my room into the festive city in celebration of Christmas.

In a country that has no night market culture, Christmas markets are the rare “night markets” that take place about a month prior to Christmas all over the cities in the UK. Some last for a week while some last for one and a half month.

The annual Christmas market in London that takes place in Hyde Park is called Winter Wonderland. Though it’s a market, the scale of Winter Wonderland is equivalent to that of an amusement park. There’s food, drink and all the fun stuff you can think of. A ferris wheel more than 10 meters tall greets visitors to Winter Wonderland at the entrance. Roller coaster, free fall ride, pirate ship ride and many more facilities heat up the freezing London! And of course, other than the thrilling rides, a variety of food stalls await. There are all types of french crepes (similar to the kind of crepe we usually have in Taiwan). German food takes up a big percentage in the market, like German sausage, roasted suckling pig,pretzel sandwich, etc. What amazes me though is that there is even a stall that sells chestnuts roasted with sugar! I had never spotted one in downtown London!

As the weather in the UK is usually cold and wet, drinking is a must at the market!
There is a bar stall about every ten steps you walk. Among all choices, you must not miss out on a nice cup of mulled wine. Each stall offers mulled wine of its kind, most of which are made from grapes. There is also apple or pear cider. In a lower-than-10-degree day, just one or two tiny cups of mulled wine about the portion of an espresso shot will make you tipsy. But of course, local people that are used to low temperatures would usually directly go for a large iced beer!

Since its a Christmas market, there are also numerous stalls that sell handmade artifacts varying from necklaces, home accessories to exquisite artifacts. Now,I must mention Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham. Birmingham in the UK and Frankfurt in Germany are longstanding twin towns. Thus, every year during Christmas holidays, German stalls pop up. Though I haven’t had a chance to visit Germany yet, I’ve seen plentiful German handcrafted artifacts at the Christmas market. Without a doubt, the most famous of all is the nutcracker.An army of nutcrackers of different sizes stand handsomely at the front of several stalls. You can also find ceramics houses, glass candle holders and ornaments.Most accessories are made of wood or metal, elaborate and exquisite.

In addition to the Christmas markets, downtown and street blocks are all covered in Christmas glitter with lights and decorations. The entire city is bathed in warm holiday vibes in welcoming the arrival of Christmas. I do not know the history of Christmas markets but being able to hangout with friends, enjoy culturally diverse food and music in the piercing cold winter is perhaps the best merit of a Christmas market.

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