The perfect place for those who don’t like Christmas

Image of Christmas Market in Belfast

The market itself was guarded by the flowing of people entering it. The ticket in being the glow of a proof of vaccination on phones or perhaps the showing of the blue card, like at an airport.

Though the city was cold and wet and most definitely, Belfast, Northern Ireland on a damp December night. Inside the gate, around the icy blue beacon of light, that used to be the grey stone of Belfast City Hall, it was a completely different story.

Strangely warm for early December -some may place it to the warmth of Christmas, there was an army of aroma from crepes, Korean bubble waffle, venison burgers and wurst. Wooden log huts lined the wet stone streets, illuminated with bright colourful lights cascading the faces of families, friends, lovers, and the occasional dog.

Every colour, creed, tongue, and faith tied together with the thread of celebration.

Some countries have been struck off the list of travel for now, but the market erases the need to go abroad. People step in from Belfast and walk to France, they might take a detour to Japan for Shushi, head to Italy for small fluffy pastries, or go to Korea for bubble waffle, drizzled with Nutella and Oreo. One young woman shrieks in embarrassment when a friend points out to her that she had some of the Nutella on the tip her nose, red with the cold. “You didn’t see that. None of you saw that!”

The lush homemade soaps, glittering amber and silver jewellery crafted into dangling earrings in the shape of bees or arrows. Cards that bear the wisdom of Northern Ireland on them from, “’at’s us nai… yer some pup… what’s the craic?” Someone translates some of the phrases to a friend from far away -though he understood some.

“Do you want to get some mulled wine.”

“I’ll get some the next time I’m up. I have to drive home.”

Like a bustling market from the silver screen, rows of stalls that looked as though they could house Santa’s helpers in Lapland, had cashmere, patterned woollen hats, scarves and gloves from Scandinavia. Icons of Jesus and Mary, St. Michael and St Gabriel sold with rosy cheeked babushkas and glossy patterned enamel hairpins by two nuns on their black habits, singing like angels along with Gregorian hymns.

The perfect Christmas activity for all, even for those who don’t like Christmas.

Author profile

Journalism bachelors graduate form the class of 2021. Interested in current affairs and Northern Irish politics and social issues.