The Hans Christian Andersen Christmas market, 2016
“One of the
advantages of living in Odense is that we have the annual Hans Christian
Andersen Christmas market.” That was the way I started my blog post about the
market back in 2009 and I could do the same this year or any other year.
Although I haven’t written about the market since 2009, it doesn’t mean that I
don’t attend it every year; this year with my now seventeen-year-old daughter.
world-famous fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen is from Odense, Denmark, the
market takes place in the old part of town in which he was born. The actual
house is a museum today and the streets around it look like they did when
Andersen was alive (1805-1875). During the market weekends, people working in the
stalls even dress in 19th century costumes to make the illusion complete.
You can buy
everything at the market from food and drinks to jewellery and dolls and you
can even visit the doll maker’s magical house where the Czech doll maker and
actor Patricie Homolová makes the most amazing dolls and puppets for the puppet
theatre “Svanen” (The Swan).
At the market, you can get a ride in
a horse-drawn carriage, visit the “living museum” where elderly ladies dressed
in 1840 costumes demonstrate how lace and Christmas decorations were made back
then and if you’re a kid, you can try funfair rides like the merry-go-round or
a miniature train ride.
In and around the market square you
are sure to bump into acrobats, musicians or members of the Hans Christian Andersen
Parade, which consists of children aged 8-18 dressed like characters from Hans
Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. This year I even spotted an old-fashioned night
watchman, who was kind enough to pose for me.
However, to me the main attraction is
the beautiful spiegeltent (mirror-tent) La Gayola: an Art Deco spiegeltent from
1947, which holds 350 people. It is so beautiful and there is a very special
atmosphere inside. Each year we go there to get hot
chocolate or mulled wine and the Danish Christmas-speciality “aebleskiver”
(apple slices), which has nothing to do with apples nowadays as they are just small
cakes of batter cooked over the fire in a special kind of pan to make them
totally round. You eat them with powdered sugar and strawberry jam and they
my daughter and I enjoyed our visit to the Hans Christian Andersen Christmas
market and I hope you’ll enjoy the photos I took while we were there. I’m sure
we’ll be back next year.