The smell of mulled wine and pre-Christmas sounds sweetened the frosty temperatures on Saturday, 16 December 2023, when the CEPIT association hosted the fifth edition of the Christmas market in Holzmengen. The Advent event in the fortified church is becoming a tradition and is now setting an example for Christmas markets in other villages too.
25 exhibitors, mostly members of the Din Hârtibaciu cu Drag community brand, offered local and regional products from their workshops and kitchens. Hundreds of visitors from near and far rewarded their efforts with diligent shopping and, above all, good humour. The Churchfortress – Friends of Hundertbüchel/Movile association, a regular presence at the Hosman Christmas market, even brewed a special Christmas beer for the market this year. By the time the Colinde concert by Romanian singers from the village started, everyone knew that Christmas was coming! During the market, Școala Trimitoare offered the youngest visitors an exciting children’s programme with a visit from Santa Claus. The Harbachtal Choir, conducted by Cornelia Hemmann, made the Protestant church ring with Christmas cheer before the guests set off on a carol singing tour around the church, singing in four languages to reach the traditional highlight of the Christmas market in Holzmengen: the live nativity scene.
Live nativity scene and “Christmas Gang”
The live nativity scene in the south-west tower – with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and live animals – delighted young and old and, above all, many photographers. This year, however, the Christmas market offered another surprising and much-acclaimed highlight. The exhibition “The Christmas Gang” presented magical figures from different cultures and traditions, lovingly made from papier-mâché by Ania Bethge (CasApold) and accompanied by bilingual explanations. To round things off, the musician Călin Han from Mărginimea Sibiului enchanted the Christmas market in the fortified church with authentic shepherd sounds, turning it into an unforgettable evening.
Organiser Ruth István is delighted with the renewed success of the Christmas market in Hosman: “Once again it was a successful event and for me personally the crowning glory of the pre-Christmas season. How nice that Christmas markets are now also being held in a whole series of other fortified churches. Thank you to everyone who helped! I am very pleased that the Christmas market has become a fixed pre-Christmas programme item in the calendar for many people from the region. This is certainly also due to the fact that many associations and NGOs are involved in the organisation, creating a wonderful joint event.”
The market, organised by the CEPIT Association, the Fortified Churches Foundation, the CasApold Association and the Democratic Forum of Germans in Transylvania, was financially supported by the Department for Interethnic Relations of the Romanian government, the Kulturwerk der Siebenbürger Sachsen, the Land Kärnten and the Hometown Community Holzmengen. The event was also supported by the Hosman Durabil Association, the Democratic Forum of Germans in Sibiu and the Sibiu Evangelical District Consistory.
Text and Photos: Stefan Bichler