THE VERY first day of the Bratislava Christmas Market saw hundreds of people coming to taste lokše (potato pancake), punch, or hriatô, a traditional alcoholic drink containing bacon. The market, which started on November 28 and will last until December 23, is a favourite place for people to meet friends or to try Christmas delicacies, according to several visitors who spoke to the ČTK newswire. The Advent atmosphere also attracted several foreigners.
“It is great here, a really good atmosphere, we meet friends and acquaintances,” ČTK was told by a Bratislava inhabitant, 50, who was enjoying hriatô with her friends from work. They said they had not noticed any price hikes. “I do not notice this, I come here for the atmosphere, in order to meet friends,” she added.
But some visitors have noticed higher prices. A price increase of 10 percent was confirmed by vendors in one of the snack kiosks, who said the generally higher cost of food has been reflected in the increased prices. Several English teachers from the USA tried to work up the courage to try hriatô, which contains melted fat and bacon. “I keep telling them to try it, as it is something unique and you only live once,” one of them said, adding that he was visiting the Christmas market for the fifth time.
Some visitors had managed to drink punch or to eat lokša in several kiosks in order to compare those on offer. Most of them agreed that it would not be the last time they visited the market.
“We will come very often,” a group of women laughed, and were eagerly seconded by three college students from Bratislava.
People can also buy Christmas gifts at the market, with vendors in kiosks offering traditional folk products made of wood, wax or glass.
Apart from the Christmas market organised by the Bratislava City Council on Hlavné and Františkánske Squares, the Old Town Christmas Market, organised for several years by the Old Town Council, is also taking place in the neighbouring Hviezdoslavovo square.
8. Dec 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports