Why would Quebec City, which is predominently French, produce a German Christmas Market?
A small group called the German Community Quebec (Communauté allemande Québec, or CAQ) promotes different types of German activities and cultural exchanges to improve knowledge of Germany and its people. They launched the first Quebec City German Christmas Market in 2008 and have continued to grow every year with rave reviews and increasing success.
If you haven’t been to a European Christmas Market, you’re missing one of the greatest holiday traditions in the world. The gingerbread hearts and candied apples hanging from the stalls, handmade straw and yarn ornaments, wooden figurines for nativity scenes, nutcracker soldiers, and aromas of sausages and gluhwein on every corner. I spent my childhood in Germany and exploring the Christmas markets are some of my fondest memories.
Quebec City is said to have one of the best Christmas Markets in North America, as close to a European Christmas market without the cost of a transatlantic flight. It may not have the number of stalls a true German Christmas Market or the extent of products, but the sights, smells, and tastes are all there on a small scale along with rosy cheeked patrons and Christmas music surrounded by historical architecture.
Vendors display their wares from small wooden cabins in the enclosed square tucked between City Hall and the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Old Quebec. Ornaments, wool clothing, jewelry, chocolates, holiday cakes, and honey make excellent presents, but for the steadfast shopper, the warm gluhwein, hot pretzels and sausages are the reward for braving freezing temperatures to find gifts for their loved ones.