It’s officially November; a time where we welcome even colder and crisp weather, the bittersweet stress of Christmas shopping and stores displaying all their Christmas goodies just waiting to be purchased by Christmas-hungry customers. Santa has been checking his naughty and nice list all year round, but during this time he is playing closer attention to it; Covid-19 is holding the top spot on the naughty list since last year! However, the nice list is showing some proud results in regards to our society and a special present is in store for us; The Annual Christmas Market.
The well-loved Christmas Market is due to come back to us, the official opening set to fall on Friday November 12th 2021 and will continue to run up until Wednesday December 22nd 2021. The Market is now in its 11th year of providing Christmas cheer and all things nice and is brimming with excitement over welcoming the locals and visiting tourists back into the heart of Eyre Square in Galway’s bustling city centre. Last year, Christmas 2020, the Market was only a memory from the year previous in 2019 as Covid-19 restrictions prohibited the Market from setting up due to social distancing measures and the danger of large crowds coming together in the one space. However, some Christmas spirit was still left behind from the absence of Galway’s Christmas Market as Eyre Square was decorated with twinkling Christmas lights, a Christmas tree and gigantic light-up reindeer.
Walking through Eyre Square last year held a bittersweet feeling; Christmas joy was in the air as locals took in the dazzling Christmas lights, but an aura of sadness hung in the air due to no Christmas stalls and the threat of another lockdown, but this year we’ll make up for what was stolen from us in 2020. Get your woolly hats and Christmas jumpers ready to welcome back the Christmas Market with its 32-metre light-up observation wheel, 50 plus wooden stalls each holding handmade crafts or delicious Christmas goodies, Beer Keller, Carousel, Santa’s Express Train and so much more.
Personally, what I missed most about the Christmas Market was the feeling of joy, the feeling of being home; the best way to describe a feeling like this is like being a little kid all over again, every little thing excites you no matter how many times you see it. Walking through Eyre Square with friends or family and taking pictures of the cute Christmas backdrops and light-up gardens with a traditional Nutella crepe in hand. It didn’t matter how many times I walked through or how many different people I went with, but every time I walked through it, it felt like the first time and the feeling of joy never died, it just kept getting stronger to the point my cheeks would hurt from smiling so much. There’s that, but there’s also dragging your closest loved ones up on to the big wheel despite them having a fear of heights, but once you’re high enough then that look of fear and uncertainty turns into a feeling of fascination as they look over Eyre Square and see the bird’s eye view of all the Christmas lights dotted around Eyre Square and Shop Street.
Mark your calendars for Friday November 12th, it’s time to welcome the Christmas Market home, it’s time to welcome some normality back into our lives. The pandemic has taken so much from us and it’s visible to see that a lot of people are still worried, but we need to push those negative thoughts aside and replace them with snow-specked thoughts of joy. It doesn’t matter whether you’re walking through the pathways of the light-up displays with a crepe or glass of mulled wine in hand or cuddling up to your friends or significant other whilst you’re on the Big Wheel, but in those moments, you’ll realise that better days are yet to come, that better days are already making their appearance. Galway Christmas Market; we welcome you back with open arms.