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Magical December in Gdansk

It would be difficult to imagine a contrast between two months greater than that between November and December. While the former is usually associated with short days, terrible weather and dropping temperatures, December is seen very differently, even though the weather is often much worse. This is thanks to the magic of Christmas and New Year fun!

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December means Christmas, but before that, there is also Saint Nicholas’s Day and the beautiful Christmas Fair, which launches in Gdansk as early as on 1 December this year.

The traditional event takes place in the Coal Market, which fills to the brim with classic stands selling Christmas gifts, snacks and hot drinks. The impressive 8-metre Angelic Wheel also makes a return, decorated with beautifully painted sculptures of saints, in addition to last year’s hit – Lucek the Moose, again ready to tell some of the corniest jokes you will ever hear – in two languages. But worry not – there are new attractions aplenty planned for this year! The first is a fabulous two-level carousel, free of charge for holders of a Resident’s Card. The other is the food truck zone, offering dishes from many countries around the globe. The latter is open until 13 January (the main part of the Fair closes on 23 December).

It is worth noting that the Fair opens with the Elf Parade. Afterwards, parades take place at the Fair on all weekdays. Elves entertain us during week one, before being joined by Santa on 6 December. During week two, the Coal Market is visited by the Snow Queen and her retinue, and by Carollers during week three (actors from Teatr Feta come dressed as characters from fables).

On Saturdays and Sundays, the Great Armoury organises arts workshops for children, taught by instructors from the Gdansk Archipelago of Culture (from 12:00 to 5:00 PM, for example, making figurines of Santa, dwarves and angels, making Christmas wreaths and singing).

And after Christmas is over, it is time to get ready for some New Year’s Eve fun. This year, as many as 4 New Year concerts are planned. The city New Year’s Eve party takes place in four locations:
✴ Family Downtown – Coal Market – Brathanki live in concert
✴ Sentimental Orunia – Orunia Park (amphitheatre) – Czerwone Gitary live in concert
✴ Entertaining Chelm – Jar Wilanowski – Laki Lan live in concert
✴ Electrifying Brzezno – pier – C-bool’s hit DJ set
Gdansk New Year’s Eve Night 2018/2019 begins at 10:00 PM and ends several quarters past midnight. All 4 concert spots are connected by a special New Year’s Eve bus.

The largest concert takes place in the centre of Gdansk, at the Coal Market. The remaining 3 district New Year’s Eve parties will be broadcast on a large outdoor screen.

The coming of the New Year is preceded by 12 strikes of the largest, 3-tonne bell of the carillon of St Catherine’s Church. Soon after, the Coal Market lights up with a laser show lasting around 10 minutes.

Despite the wintry December weather, Gdansk is about to become very hot!
See you there!