Christmas market 2

In general, the Christmas markets are full of people in a reasonably cheerful mood, as we’re supposed to be in this season.

Xmas market 07

There are some amongst us who’s luck ran out a long time ago. The fellow in next image sells a magazine issued by an organization for homeless people. To be an authorized sales person for this magazine, you have to be sober and drug free. Most of the sales persons have gone through long downward spirals of unemployment, drug and or alcohol abuse ¬†and living in the streets.

Xmas market 08

The guy jumped out in front of me and posed and then we had a chat. He was ever so cheerful, happy and positive (not artificially induced). He, who has nothing, was full of Christmas cheer. We, who have everything, are so frequently dissatisfied with out lot. We have no idea.

Xmas market 09

There are degrees in hell I suppose. There are still social safety nets here for citizens. There are loads of Eastern European gypsies begging on the streets of Stockholm, sitting on freezing streets all day. They live in ramshackle camps on the fringe of the city. And this is better than staying in their country of origin. Says something of the condition there.

 

 

Christmas market 1

First of Advent has come and gone, and this is the traditional start of the commercial Christmas. To be sure it’s the start of the spiritual Christmas too, but this does not manifest itself with the power of the retail industry.

The Christmas markets are popping up around town, and since I like these markets I went to Great Market Square (Stortorget) in Stockholm’s old town. The square is the oldest in Stockholm, and it’s had markets for at least 500 years. We think this is very old of course, but it’s just because cities as a phenomenon arrived pretty late in history up here in the north, a mere 1000 years ago. In comparison to ancient centers around the Mediterranean seaboard, buildings of that era are, well, recent and modern?

Xmas market 01

The Christmas market has been here every year since 1915. Since the Great Market Square has been used for markets since the earliest time of the city, one has to assume that Christmas shopping was done here too since the earliest time.

Since the market is a bit cramped, I got good use of a 20mm lens. I’ve not considered this lens for street photography before, but I’ve changed my mind now.