At the weekend during the pre-Christmas period, guests from near and far pay a visit our Christmas Market in Filzmoos and wonder at the many home-made handicrafts – yet it’s hard to believe how much work and effort is involved setting up the Christmas market each year.
The Christmas market was initially founded by the Tourism Director in Filzmoos, Eva Salchegger. “A small Christmas market is an ideal attraction for our guests in addition to the popular “Christmas Idyll“ in the Hofalm“, she explains. Thus she started to make plans around nine years ago. She was and is still assisted by a hand full of voluntary helpers. And the finished result is definitely worth a visit…
For the location she selected the square in front of the Pilgrimage Church in Filzmoos. The Christmas market nestles cosily amid the church walls, parish hall and council office building, well away from busy roads and traffic, and yet easily accessible for everyone.
The five small wooden huts, one of which is painted like a gingerbread house, were all specially constructed for the Christmas market and are festively decorated beforehand with fir wreaths and fairy lights. This requires many hardworking hands – and as everyone knows – these are pretty rare in the pre-Christmas period. Lanterns and fir trees in varying sizes not only grace the entrance to the Christmas market, but also create a cosy atmosphere around the square. Gentle Christmas music plays in the background and the aroma of cinnamon and incense round off the festive feel and entice visitors to linger.
One of the market stands is the so-called “gastro hut“. There you can purchase refreshments such as mulled wine, punch and tea. If you’re hungry you might want to try a “bosna” (type of hot dog with curry sauce) which is always popular, particularly amongst the locals. In the past few years it’s almost become a tradition that the Filzmoos locals meet up before the start of the winter season for a “bosna” and a hot drink with guests. Each weekend the “gastro hut” is run by a different Filzmoos club, whereby 6 to 8 helpers are required per day just for this one stand.
It’s always a challenge to fill the other stands with wares and handicrafts. In late summer already the “Christmas Market” project group, led by Eva Salchegger, meets up and invites interested parties to take part. At these get-togethers the organiser gets an idea of who wants to contribute to the Christmas market. How many handicrafts are actually made to be sold, however, is not known until just before the market takes place. Only on delivery day itself does she have a clear overview of the amount of crafted wares. The most important thing is that everything on sale is hand-made. That’s what makes the Filzmoos Christmas market different from other markets, where you can only for the most part purchase only industrially produced products. Each person wishing to sell their wares at the Filzmoos Christmas market is obliged to work for a certain amount of time in one of stands as a salesperson.
When the stands are filled, the wares festively presented and everything decorated, then Eva Salchegger can at last breathe a small sigh of relief. Shortly afterwards the first visitors arrive and enjoy coming to this small but beautiful market in our mountain village. An attractive side programme of events such as a visit from St. Nicholas or music by brass music and carol singing groups are particularly popular and make the often stress-filled Advent period quiet and reflective.
When our guests leave the Christmas market with a gleam in their eyes and a contented look on their faces, then our organiser is happy and all the effort involved in her Advent project is forgotten.
Photo credit: TVB Filzmoos