In the Christian calendar, the first season of the church year, a period of preparation for the birth of Jesus. Advent begins on the Sunday nearest to November 30 and continues until Christmas.
During this period, from end November to December 23rd, Cologne squares turned to a one giant Christmas market. In contrary to other cities in Germany, Cologne holds six marvelous markets where each of them has different characters. Four of the markets are extremely large. The larger market is located in Cologne Cathedral.
The second is in the ''Alter Markt'' with the beautiful city hall building as its background. The third is in the middle of a shopping center called ''Neumarkt''. Its uniqueness is driven from the beautiful church St. ''Aposteln''. The fourth market is located in ''Rudolfplatz'' near the ''Hahnentorburg'', a medieval town gate.
Cologne markets attract, yearly, more than two million visitors. During markets' days, various entertainment events take place; skiing area, Christmas concerts and presentations of Christmas Nativity scene that show Jesus in a manger, Joseph and Mary in a barn. It is recommended to take a walk among the booths and enjoy the hotdogs, the hot wine (Gluhwein) or a cup of punch.
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