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German Christmas Markets Dazzle Millions Every Year

Lights, Kugels, ornaments and cheer attract millions of visitors to traditional Christmas markets in Germany every year.

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The Christkindelmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany is lit up for the holidays on Dec. 10, 2014.

The magical atmosphere of Germany’s Christmas markets attracts more than 80 million visitors a year, figures show. Mulled wine, gingerbread, wooden ornaments, Christmas Kugels and other German food specialties and crafts annually generate an estimated 129 billion dollars in revenue in Germany.

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A couple peruses the ornaments at one of the many stalls at the Christkindelmarkt on Dec. 10 in Nuremberg.

From big to small, more than 2,500 Christmas markets operate in the four weeks leading up to the holidays. ”We are continuously expanding the traditional Christmas market and now have added a special kids fair and stalls from our partner cities,” said Lorenz Kalb, the head of the Showmen’s Union in Nuernberg, which participates in the famous Christkindlesmarkt.

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Children eye the baked goodies at the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg.

But the markets are not just about sales and profits. Officials stress that the traditional markets are also a place of reflection with dedicated commerce-free corners for performances from kindergartens and children’s choirs. “And, the carnies at the markets regularly collect money for charities,” Kalb said.

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A Christmas angel walks through the stalls of the Christkindelmarkt in Nuremberg;

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A woman window shops at the Shooting Star Christmas Market in Wiesbaden, Germany on Dec. 9.

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Ornaments hang from the stall at the Shooting Star Christmas Market in Wiesbaden.

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Christmas Market attendees toast with traditional mulled wine at the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg.

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The Shooting Star Christmas Market fills with people in Wiesbaden.

•Gallery: Sparkling Holiday Lights Brighten the Season

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