Showing posts with label German Weihnachtsmarkt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label German Weihnachtsmarkt. Show all posts

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Christmas Huts In The City ...

“Silver bells, silver bells
It’s Christmastime in the city …”
               ~“Silver Bells”

     ~composed by Jay Livingston & Ray Evans
                             ~ 1950
Early Christmas shoppers hunt for treasures to place under the Christmas tree at Christmas Huts On Main in historic downtown Bethlehem, Pennsylvania the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

The charming area was transformed into an authentic German Weihnachtsmarkt, or open-air Christmas market. Vendors set up shop in  Christmas-themed wooden huts brimming with unique gift ideas along Main Street in what is known as The Christmas City.

These Christmas Huts are located in front of Central Moravian Church, founded in 1742. The buildings to the right are part of the South Campus of Moravian College, my alma mater, also founded in 1742.

Moravian Stars are hung at the top of the huts. The Moravian Star (German: Herrnhuter Stern) is an illuminated Advent, Christmas or Epiphany decoration popular in Germany and in places in America and Europe where there are Moravian congregations. The stars take their English name from the Moravian Church originating in Moravia. In Germany, they are known as Herrnhut stars, named after the Moravian Mother Community in Saxony, Germany, where they were first commercially produced.

On Christmas Eve 1741, in a stable, while a small group of Moravians were singing a hymn with the stanza “Not Jerusalem, Lowly Bethlehem” Count Nicolaus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf christened this little town “Bethlehem.” Since that time Christmas in Bethlehem has been central to the city’s identity. From the first documented decorated Christmas tree in America to the efforts of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce to get Bethlehem nicknamed “Christmas City USA” in 1937, to the current time when both sides of the river boast Christmas markets filled with artisan craft, retail and food vendors, Bethlehem is rife with one Christmas celebration after another.