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Christmas

The Sterzing Christmas Market

The small town of Sterzing gets all dressed up for Advent

The small town of Sterzing gets all dressed up for Advent: fairy lights trace the castellated houses, and the trees in the town square twinkle with the stars in the winter sky. The Zwölferturm tower watches over the festive hustle and bustle that sweeps between the stands of the Christmas market.

Dressed in a hat, gloves, and scarf, you can smell the mulled wine, roasted almonds, and savoury treats. There is a reflective peacefulness in Sterzing’s town square, and the decorated wooden stands snuggled up together make the Christmas season even more meaningful.

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The only time the peaceful festive atmosphere is disturbed is on 5 December by the Krampus and St. Nicholas procession. As soon as night falls, eerie figures with blackened faces, fur, and horns parade through the town streets shouting. Their aim is to frighten as many visitors as possible and smear them with a mixture of soot and grease. But those who dare to enter the town are rewarded: the Krampuses are accompanied by St. Nicholas, who, together with Knecht Ruprecht and his helpers, distributes small gifts to the children.
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