Ottawa

Ottawa's new Christmas market wunderbar, German ambassador confirms

Ottawa's European-style Christmas market at Lansdowne Park has received the seal of approval from someone who should know — Germany's ambassador to Canada.

European-style market at Lansdowne Park offers traditional goodies, gifts

People walk through the new European-style Christmas market that opened Friday night at Lansdowne Park. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC)

Ottawa's European-style Christmas market at Lansdowne Park has received the seal of approval from someone who should know — Germany's ambassador to Canada.

Surveying the scene in front of the Aberdeen Pavilion Friday morning, Sabine Sparwasser said it reminded her of her homeland, where the tradition of the Christmas market began 700 years ago.

"I think it looks exactly like in Germany," Sparwasser told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning. "The huts look exactly like the ones we have in Germany in virtually every town."

Visitors to Ottawa's new European-style Christmas market line up for coffee at one of the huts lining the square in front of the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC)

Sparwasser said Germans flock to Christmas markets to keep their spirits bright during the dark days of winter.

"You need some lights, you need to get together, you need some mulled wine to cheer you up, and the Christmas markets were those places where people would come together," she said.

Christmas markets are meant to brighten up the darkening days of winter, according to the German ambassador. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

In addition to the mulled wine, visitors to Ottawa's market, which opened Friday, can expect to find other traditional goodies including sausages, soups and applesauce, as well as a variety of Christmas decorations and other gifts for sale. 

Sabine Sparwasser, the German ambassador to Canada, says the Christmas market is a tradition that dates back 700 years. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

While Ottawa's market is a bit more modest than some of the ones you might see in Germany, it could still be the start of a new tradition here, Sparwasser said.

"It's a start into a tradition, and that's what Christmas is all about, and that's what Christmas markets are all about."

The market is open weekends until Dec. 22.

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