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Every evening at , from the Friday before Advent to the night before Christmas, string and wind players along with singers and choirs peal out carols from the balcony of the neo-Gothic Rathaus (Town Hall).
Look For: Small themed markets sprinkled around the city, including the famed Kripperlmarkt (Crib Market) on Rindermarkt, with Bavarian and Tyrolean Nativity figures, and a Medieval Market on Wittelsbacher Platz.
Look For: "Nuremberg Plum People," tiny puppets made of prune limbs, fig torsos, and walnut heads with painted-on faces.
Stall owners compete to win the coveted "Gold Plum Person" prize for their displays. 24 For More Info: (Christmas markets) are on the long slope of Wenceslas Square and in the medieval movie set of the Old Town Square formed around a giant Christmas tree, manger scene, and small petting zoo. 5) to roam town accompanied by an angel and a demon.
Others keep celebrating until Epiphany on January 6.
Market officials enforce traditions with typical Teutonic efficiency: no plastic wreaths, recorded Christmas Muzak, or gaudy carousels allowed.Also keep your eyes peeled for the Christmas tram that trundles through the old city serving spiced wine and gingerbread. 24 For More Info: On the Friday before Advent, the golden Christmas Angel appears on the high gallery of the medieval Frauenkirche to recite the opening prologue for one of the biggest and most famous Christmas markets of them all.Some two million shoppers descend upon the 180 candy cane-striped stalls that fill the main square with crafts, ornaments, and toys.Not that Belgian traditions are left out; browse the many food stalls for pots of (sugar doughnuts), and Belgium's two most welcome additions to world cuisine: fine chocolates and powerful beer.At one end of the shopping, near the fish market, you'll find a spinning, glittering 160-foot Ferris wheel, and, at the Place de la Monnaie, a nearly 8,000-square-foot ice skating rink. Each year, Brussels invites a different guest to set up a market-within-the-market to share some of its own traditions.
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Christmas concerts abound, but it's hard to resist the carol sing-along at the Royal Albert Hall (from mid Dec.).