Unless you’ve been to Germany, you may not know that the German towns and cities all have Christmas markets in the weeks preceding Christmas, filled with stands where you can buy small gifts and stalls selling food and Glühwein (a hot mulled wine).

That’s the nice part.  The not-so-nice part is: Christmas markets and Christmas itself in Europe doesn’t have the history of music that you find in America.  I always think Christmas in Germany could be improved with more traditional music.

But anyway, the best known market is not in Germany at all, but in Strasbourg:

And if you have good eyes you will have spotted that it’s not Markt but Märik, which is the word for market in the Alemannisch language – less commonly spoken in Strasbourg today, but still the lingua franca among Switzerland’s many unique dialects.