Each of Colmar's five Christmas Markets is a separate mini-village with its own collection of passionate craftsmen. Installed in squares with their own architectural signature, these islands of festivity reflect the character of the city hosting them: friendly and authentic.
For six weeks, the whole of Old Colmar, miraculously protected from the vicissitudes of history, becomes one huge multi-faceted Christmas Market. Here, as you browse round the 180 stalls, you really feel the magic of Christmas seeping into you. It's all about experiencing the wonder of a child again; it's not something you can control, you just have to feel it.
In Colmar, miracles do happen… But a huge amount of preparation work goes on behind the scenes: maintaining the chalets, putting up the decorations and lights, organising entertainment, overseeing the installation of the stands and selecting exhibitors. The exhibitors, mostly from Alsace, are selected on the basis of the quality and originality of their products.
This is also an inspiring time of year for the artists and craftsmen exhibiting their work in the impressive Renaissance Koïfhus (the old customs building). Whether its a traditional Advent speciality, a winter-themed work of art or a contemporary decorative item, the impulse buy definitely plays a part here.