by Noemi Distefano
Edinburgh’s Christmas Market has opened to the public this weekend.
The market, one of the most popular Christmas celebrations in the UK, will run for six weeks until the 7th January.
Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens will be transformed into a veritable winter wonderland by a rich array fairground attractions, lights, buskers, artists and street-chefs.
The market has grown its reputation as one of Europe’s largest Christmas attractions.
Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, said to Edinburgh Evening News, “Edinburgh’s Christmas promises to wow once again, and the Christmas Market alongside with the Street of Light is a spectacular and mesmerising addition to what is already a brilliant line-up.”
Around 900,000 unique visitors from all over Europe are expected to fill St. Andrews Square in the coming weeks.
Hundreds of chefs and artisans are expected to open their shutters, offering nibbles, trinkets and a more magical Christmas experience.
Shopkeeper Judies, owner of ChristmasWorld, sells traditional German wooden ornaments. She said, “Me and my brother have been here in Edinburgh for the Christmas markets even before they became a huge event. This is our fifteenth year in this street, and I wouldn’t like to be anywhere else.”
Norwegian shopkeeper Kari Ittervel claims that she comes to Edinburgh just for the market. A resident of Amsterdam, she flies over for just two months a year to sell her handmade pottery.
“I’ve been here for two years now, I was in London’s Christmas Market before, but it’s not even a tenth as nice as in Edinburgh’s. One day I heard that there was a beautiful market here and I resolved: ‘let’s make Edinburgh’s ladies happy with my items!’”
“The markets are amazing. Beautiful people, beautiful city, it’s just fantastic!”
It’s not just the shopkeepers who love the atmosphere. Jasmine – a tourist from Newcastle – said, “I came a long way from Newcastle, just because I think the Christmas markets are great. They bring a bit of European culture to the cities in the UK.”
“I think it is really nice, the smell is nice in the air, the sites and there are really a lot of lights and we are looking forward to go around, it is a great thing.”
The experience is certainly rich – families peer into the Gardens from the terrace of the Scottish National Gallery as the smell of burned wood and the sound of buskers fill the air.
The Edinburgh Christmas Market will stay vibrant with music, sounds, sights and smells until early 2017.
Tickets are right now available at www.edinburghschristmas.com