The changing face of German Christmas markets: Historic, mercantile, social, and experiential dimensions

Dirk H.R. Spennemann, Murray Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Annually, there are between 2500 and 3000 Christmas markets in Germany. While claiming to be rooted in century-old tradition, the current concept of the markets, shaped in the 1930s, gradually transformed from primarily mercantile operations to experiential events. In contemporary times, these markets also have quantifiable social and experiential dimensions. The last of these, the experiential dimension, is a mélange of visual, auditory, and olfactory components that create a compound sensory response—the “Christmas atmosphere”. There are copious intangible elements of these markets, which combined create a sum greater than the addition of each of the individual constituent components. We find the recognition of such collections of entwined intangible heritage is novel, warranting further research and documentation, as standard approaches to the identification and management of intangible cultural heritage are too limiting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1821-1835
Number of pages15
JournalHeritage
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

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