Christmas in Cardiff

What?! The end of term already? We haven’t even started! Three months have come and gone already in this city that I have come to love so much! Part of me hardly wants to go home, basking in the Christmas glow that exists in the city centre! I know that here, I may very well have the White Christmas I’ve always wanted! Don’t get me wrong – I’m super excited to get home with family. Four more days before that lovely plane flight to home sweet home!

I have never felt the Christmas spirit as much as I do here. The weather is appropriate, the skeletons of naked trees in a background of grey. The autumn gold and red leaves replace the sun on these fantastic days. I will be going to the Christmas market down in city centre again today. The backdrop of the beautiful castle with bright blue stars makes it all the more wonderfully Christmassy!

 

I love the small wooden sheds full of local produce and handicrafts. The Welsh have many pretty trinkets but mostly I like their Welsh slate and their love spoons. The slate industry in Wales started in the Roman period but really expanded in the 19th century. The Cilgwyn quarry is the oldest one and I think it looks fantastic and even romantic!

Welsh Slate Wine racks The love spoons are another intricate piece of work which I really admire! It was traditionally presented as a romantic gift and is often used as wedding souvenirs in celebrations nowadays. It was important for the father of the bride to observe the work of the suitor to ensure the suitor could provide for his daughter and the household! This website has a list of all the symbols used on Welsh love spoons and their meanings.

Apart from handicrafts, there are the inevitable cider, beer and cheese stalls as well as Welsh cakes. It is a pity I cannot take them home with me because they will go stale by the time I arrive in Malta.  The German sausage stall and mulled wine stall fill the air with Christmas smells.  A few miles away from these picturesque stalls is Winter Wonderland, an exciting playground for children and adults alike. There is an ice skating rink and I actually saw real reindeer!

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There is another Christmas market in Cardiff Bay – mostly inside the Wales Millennium Centre. When I went last week there was an amazing orchestra playing songs from musicals as well as Christmas carols. There were shivers going down my spine at the beautiful saxophone. I bought more mulled wine and fudge from there – an excuse that I needed to keep warm!

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I feel the Christmas spirit here quite a lot – I feel it isn’t forced upon you but everything is simply more alive, more cheery, more friendly. It must be Welsh love! 

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