You might have come across a hot spiced Wine Beverage before, especially if you have visited central Europe in the cold Christmas time. The advent period (4 Sundays before Christmas) is the time of the year when you indulge the magic of Christmas to its fullest. For that reason you will see typical Christmas markets, better known as Christkindlmarkt, selling the so called Glühwein – which is known in English as mulled wine – to the visitors in the country’s capital and even in each district city in Austria, Germany as well as the rest of Europe. It’s an incredible experience to spend time with your family and friends in such a market, with the snow crystals falling from heaven, the voice of the carols enchanting your senses, the beautiful colored warming lights, the aroma of sweets and baked goods and you with a cup of hot spiced mulled wine warming your heart from within.
Unfortunately I am not in Europe right now, where all this is happening. Otherwise I would have shared with you our province Christmas market. My food Blogger friend Tanja from Tanjas Cooking Corner lives in Vienna, which hosts one of the most spectacular Christkindlmarkets in Austria, and she had shared with the world last year her impressions from there. Your eyes will pop out looking at all those goodies!
Another occasion, where it is common to drink the Glühwein, is the 5 th of December. The 6 th of December is commonly known as St.Nikolas day and that’s the day when the Saint comes to bring Chocolates, Sweets and Oranges to well behaved Children. But before St.Nikolas visits with his angles, the demons come back to life to take with them the naughty kids and that’s what the 5 th is all about. Those demons from old times are young boys and man from the Village in the mountains, wearing thick stinking mutton furs, huge hand carved demon face masks and massive Bells. Grown ups tell their kids that they are real and they tend to hit as well, so imagine the fear in each child’s face when they see those. Girls are often targeted first as well, since some love to scream when the bell sound comes closer. It’s fun! That’s why lots of local people and tourists alike turn up in huge numbers each time again. My little brother is one of those demons hunting the villagers, who are better known as Krampus or Perchten in the mountains. When you see them coming there, you ll need a hot Glühwein for the run to come! =P
I thought you would like to see what those “Demon runs” look like since it’s a unique and old pagan tradition in the Alpine region. Oh and yes there are witches as well! By the way, in my time as a child there were no barricades and it was much wilder then that. The rules got stricter for demons over the years! I remember once being alone in the house with my sister (I must have been 9 and she 4 years old) and one of those demons (my uncle) knocking on the window. My blood froze! =P
With all that you might like a warming spiced home made Glühwein recipe. It’s pretty simple to recreate it and it has a nice balanced spice amount which you will enjoy in the cold winter months to come (and if you meet any demons in your live)!