The quiet pleasures of a Basel Christmas

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Basel ChristmasIt’s Christmas in Basel. Holiday markets closed two days ago, and within 24 hours, all evidence of holiday bustle was gone. How Swiss! For many, the highlight of Christmas Eve was the Knabenkantorei Basel (KKB), the city’s highly regarded boys choir, performing the first part of J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.  Here is a video of part of KKB’s performance at the 2012 European Festival of Youth Choirs (2:08).

As people gathered for the Christnacht service at the Münster, the only decorations remaining on Cathedral Hill were snow globes and a big fir tree decorated in silver and gold. Quite a contrast to the lively holiday markets at Münsterplatz and Barfüsserplatz!

Basel ChristmasFor Christmas Day, the balmy weather has left us, trailing leaden skies and a drizzle in its wake. Most tourists are gone, too, and Christmas celebrations have moved indoors. Candles twinkle, package wrappings crinkle, and wonderful aromas are coming from our kitchen and our neighbors’. Last year’s gift, a gelato maker, has already been put to use –today’s Christmas menu includes a chocolate-coconut cake with raspberry gelato.

Basel ChristmasUntil the Christmas season closes with Three Kings Day on 6 January, Tom and I will enjoy the lingering glow of a Basel Christmas. See you in the New Year!

Basel Christmas

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