Ottawa's European-style Christmas market at Lansdowne Park has received the seal of approval from someone who should know — Germany's ambassador to Canada.
Surveying the scene in front of the Aberdeen Pavilion Friday morning, Sabine Sparwasser said it reminded her of her homeland, where the tradition of the Christmas market began 700 years ago.
"I think it looks exactly like in Germany," Sparwasser told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning. "The huts look exactly like the ones we have in Germany in virtually every town."
Sparwasser said Germans flock to Christmas markets to keep their spirits bright during the dark days of winter.
"You need some lights, you need to get together, you need some mulled wine to cheer you up, and the Christmas markets were those places where people would come together," she said.
In addition to the mulled wine, visitors to Ottawa's market, which opened Friday, can expect to find other traditional goodies including sausages, soups and applesauce, as well as a variety of Christmas decorations and other gifts for sale.
While Ottawa's market is a bit more modest than some of the ones you might see in Germany, it could still be the start of a new tradition here, Sparwasser said.
"It's a start into a tradition, and that's what Christmas is all about, and that's what Christmas markets are all about."
The market is open weekends until Dec. 22.