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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Budapest Christmas Fair 

The next stop on our occasional series of posts, documenting a tour along the river Danube, from its source to the Black sea, is Budapest and one of the most popular winter events is the Budapest Christmas Fair.

More than 600 thousand visitors enjoy the traditional nature of the Christmas Fair, with its Hungarian customs, traditional food and drink, folk arts and crafts and bands playing traditional and folk music. Fresh bread baked in traditional clay ovens, fills the air and of course, it is joined by the aroma of mulled wine, which is served in a special Christmas Fair Mug, that has a fresh design every year.

A huge Christmas tree takes pride of place in Vörösmarty square and the windows of the Gerbeaud house are used to a spectacular Advent calendar; each day, from 1 to 24 December, at exactly 5 o’clock in the afternoon a window of the calendar is opened to reveal a stunning contemporary painting . Each opening is accompanied by wonderful lighting effects, beautiful chime music and festive pieces played on wind-instruments.

Then just when it looks as if the festive Christmas holiday is drawing to a close, the city errupts with the great Szilveszter (New Years Eve) party. It is even possible to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Danube. Can you think of anything more romantic?

Read about other European Christmas Markets and even book a short Christmas market break.

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