I tried to organize all the higgledy-piggledy thoughts in my mind and found out most of the thoughts took a retreat from the mundane daily life and escaped to a world of a fairy tale. After all, December brings Santa, snowman, snow-draped roads, reindeer along with blessings from Jesus. Even an adult can choose to become that innocent child in the holiday season and escape into a different world; an uncomplicated, unambiguous and innocent world. I chose to escape to the mountains. I boarded a train from Montreaux to Château-d’Oex, in Switzerland. It is located half-way between the beautiful Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland and the small town of Gruyères in the canton of Fribourg. In fact, the international competition in hot-air ballooning is held every January in Château-d’Oex.
Whenever the calendar marks the start of December in a year, my mind and heart automatically switch to a festive mood. Twinkling lights all around, big Christmas trees and discounts in shopping malls signal that Christmas is on its way. It is not only on 25th, but every day in the month of December becomes a celebration in small and varied ways. I celebrate in December mostly by seeing a new place every year. Once I went to Goa in India, once to the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy, once to a Christmas village in Switzerland and another year I explored the Christmas market in Strasbourg in France, which is one of the oldest and biggest Christmas markets in Europe. Today I will share with you all my experience of visiting the Christmas market (or as the French say “Marche de Noel”) in Strasbourg.
Festivals are interesting! We all celebrate our respective festivals every year. Perhaps most of us enjoy festivals with some set conventions and rules. I had seen in our culture, any deviations from tradition produce anxiety and fear of nameless consequences. In my early age, I never questioned those traditions, but now I do. Now I celebrate in my own little way. Here is a story of a Christmas morning in Switzerland.