Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday's Spotlight - Christmas comes a little early in Lincoln


As I sit down to write this blog -- Thursday afternoon -- I've been down to town this morning and, not for the first time, have seen how the shops anticipate Christmas by so large a margin. I reckon that if you looked around carefully enough you would even be able to find Easter eggs on sale somewhere!

All photos by jig o'dance

Lincoln is preparing itself for its annual Christmas market. This is no small "hole in the wall" affair. It is the largest open-air Christmas market in the country. It begins on a Thursday  evening and ends on the Sunday evening covering the first weekend of December. Special train and bus excursions are run to it from all over the country and Darnstadt, with whom the city is twinned, always exports a goodly number of stalls as well.

The authorities this year have stated that all the stores must have a definite Christmas theme with stall holders dressing in costumes from that period.  In previous years this maxim has been relaxed a little too much but it has now been reintroduced and will add greatly to the atmosphere of the Market.

On Thursday, December 2nd the Dean of the cathedral and the Mayor of Lincoln will formally open the market.  Entertainment throughout the four days of the event is abundant. This year we even have a theatre company presenting various Christmas tales to entertain our visitors. Local choirs will also be in attendance singing various carols and festive songs to add to the atmosphere. If you have a secret longing to appear on BBC television then Lincoln's Christmas market is the place to come to.


The first night of the market, Thursday, 2 December, is the time when most of the Lincoln residents who want to attend go. This is done not in the belief that they can snaffle all the bargains on offer but stems from the realisation, through experience, that the first evening is the only time when numbers will be reasonable and you won't have "to go with the flow". The market opens at 10 am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - closing at 10 pm - and the crowds flock to uphill Lincoln to take part in this event. The locals who live in the vicinity or who are helping with one of the stalls make up the main local attendance for these three days.


Father Christmas ( the real one) will be there and he takes up residence in the Judges' Lodgings, which is in Castle Square with the castle at one end and the Cathedral at the other. Father Christmas is really spoilt because he meets his young visitors, and also the not so young visitors, by the fireside in that building.   Everyone else has to freeze in the cold outside. We seem to get dry weather for our Christmas market every year but we never know when that spell will end.

If you live locally and would like to come then do so because I'm sure you will enjoy the experience. If you want more information then log on to

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