Yet another beautiful Christmas season has befallen us. For some reason, I am determined not to spend this season in Nigeria. I want to experience Christmas through the lens of other cultures, on the streets of other nations and in hotels I only see in magazines Instagram.
Or maybe I just want to see things in a different light, to build a snowman, to eat food that might confine me to a permanent spot on the white throne and to be, for a week or more, unburdened by the constraints of responsibilities of cooking Jollof Rice for visitors and Lagos Traffic.
I did a quick research on some of the best place to have an unforgettable Christmas around the world, and I was overwhelmed by some of my discoveries.
I have drawn up a list of ten places I’m seriously considering and all that’s left now for me to make this wish and desire come through is some money in my account. My non existence savings is another story for a different day.
1. Strasbourg, France
Founded in 1570, Strasbourg’s Christmas market is the most famous thanks to its sheer scale and its location in Europe’s capital.
It enjoys a historical place in the history of Alsatian Christmases, thanks to its longevity: the well-known “Christkindelsmärik” in Place Broglie is considered as the oldest Christmas market in France
2. Rockefeller Center Ice Rink, New York
Welcome to one of New York City’s most celebrated attractions! In the heart of Midtown, steps from Times Square and the Theater District, The Rink at Rockefeller Center is a New York City tradition that everyone can enjoy.
3. Reykjavick, Iceland, Yule Town Christmas Market
December in Reykjavík is characterised by an agenda full of festive activities for the coming weeks. Apart from an emphasis on extravagant festive illuminations, the December in Reykjavík festivities focus on themes of peace, harmony and true Icelandic traditions.
4. Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Lapland Finland
Rovaniemi is the Official Hometown of Santa Claus, and the city’s most famous resident can be visited every day of the year in Santa Claus Village right on the Arctic Circle, an attraction that draws more than 300 000 annual visitors from all around the world.
5. Marrakech, Morocco
For Morocco’s most beautiful city, you’ve got to get lost in the souqs, spend the night amid the storytellers of the Djemaa el-Fna and sip mint tea while debating the merits of the Berber rug that you’re contemplating purchasing.
When you can tear yourself away from the souqs and the shopping, you’ll find some fascinating historical sites like the long-hidden tombs of the Saadian sultans, Yves St Laurent’s artful Jardin Majorelle and the decorative jewel that is the Ali ben Youssef Medersa.
6. Downtown Valletta, Malta
Christmas is a highly celebrated festivity in Malta for its religious significance a well as in its more social aspect. The season is celebrated to its fullest on the Maltese Islands, with the active participation of many; Nativity scenes, displays of cribs, carol services and other events are organised in each locality.
7. Calabar Festival, Cross River
Calabar Carnival festival in Nigeria, also tagged ” Africa’s Biggest Street Party”, was created as part of the vision of making the Cross River State in Nigeria, and has become the number one tourist destination for Nigerians and tourists all over the world. The carnival begins every 1st December and lasts till the 31st of December.
8. Vienna, Italy
Vienna is at its best at Christmas time with exquisitely decorated shop windows and elegant festive lights brightening up the medieval streets in the city center.
9. Bath, England
Bath offers an 18 day long, Christmas market which has over 170 stalls all selling British hand made items in a beautiful setting.
10. Quebic City, Canada
If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, the place to go to is Quebic in Canada.The magic of Christmas in Québec City starts in early December and the city is transformed into a real Christmas village, just like out of Charles Dickens’s novel.
Images – vogue.com, cnn.com, forbes.com