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AP Photos: Christmas Markets

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/9/2016
FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2016 photo people enjoy a stroll at the traditional Christmas market in Frankfurt, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, file) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2016 photo people enjoy a stroll at the traditional Christmas market in Frankfurt, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, file)

BERLIN (AP) — The aroma of hot mulled gluehwein wine mingling with the scent of bratwurst, roasted almonds and gingerbread: these are among the signature attractions of Germany's outdoor Christmas markets.

In this Dec. 8, 2016 photo people enjoy Gluehwein (mulled wine) at a christmas market in the center of Muenster, Germany. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) © The Associated Press In this Dec. 8, 2016 photo people enjoy Gluehwein (mulled wine) at a christmas market in the center of Muenster, Germany. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

People huddle together amid the wooden huts of the outdoor Christmas markets under festive lights, a scene replicated around the nation from the smallest villages to the largest cities during the time of Advent.

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2016 file photo Christmas stars for sale are illuminated at a vendor's stall on the christmas market at the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2016 file photo Christmas stars for sale are illuminated at a vendor's stall on the christmas market at the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)

The tradition of street markets in the month before Christmas dates to the 15th century in central Europe.

FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2016 file photo taken with a long time exposure people walk along the Christmas Fair in front of the Mariendom (Cathedral of Mary) and St. Severi's Church in Erfurt, central Germany. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2016 file photo taken with a long time exposure people walk along the Christmas Fair in front of the Mariendom (Cathedral of Mary) and St. Severi's Church in Erfurt, central Germany. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file)

Today, the first markets open at the end of October, selling food, drinks, seasonal crafts and other goods. Some offer Ferris Wheels and other fairground rides for the children.

FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2016 file photo people walk in front of a stand decorated with Christmas stars during the Christmas Fair in Erfurt, central Germany. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2016 file photo people walk in front of a stand decorated with Christmas stars during the Christmas Fair in Erfurt, central Germany. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

For many of the adults, the hot gluehwein — sometimes fortified with a shot of brandy or rum — is a popular brace against the winter cold and the frenzy of the holiday season. Regional specialties like hot apple wine in western state of Hesse or stollen, a sweet bread with dried fruit and sugar coating, from the eastern state of Saxony, give most of the markets an individual flair.

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2016 photo a women walks in front of a Christmas star is mirrored in a puddle, in central Berlin. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2016 photo a women walks in front of a Christmas star is mirrored in a puddle, in central Berlin. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)

German Christmas markets are also increasingly important to local economies, drawing people from around the world.

FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2016 file photo a girl rides a horse on a merry-go-round on the Christmas market in Frankfurt, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, file) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2016 file photo a girl rides a horse on a merry-go-round on the Christmas market in Frankfurt, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, file)

A 2013 study by a business association that specializes in Christmas markets and public festivals suggested that revenue from the larger markets in Germany alone exceeds a billion euros (US$1.1 billion) per year. Some 85 million people visited Christmas markets that year, a 70 percent increase since 2000.

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2016 photo young people stand in front of a fountain that is decorated with Christmas lights in downtown Frankfurt, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, file)

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2016 photo young people stand in front of a fountain that is decorated with Christmas lights in downtown Frankfurt, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, file)
© The Associated Press
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