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For Seekers Of Meaning
A Christmas journey in pandemic times


Sinnsucher The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the lives of people in different countries. Since there are restrictions in place and quarantine requirements everywhere, this year’s Christmas and New Year holidays will be unusual. Instead of loud parties and Christmas markets – obligatory masks and social distancing.
But we do have the World Wide Web and so we can still visit one another and celebrate together – if virtually. Come along on a comic-book journey through different European cities and take a look at how people there are preparing to celebrate in these difficult times.

Christmas in Corona Times:

Berlin. Weihnachtskarte. Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko Berlin, Deutschland | @ Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko

About the artist Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko:

The illustrator Alexandra Vodolazhchenko from Yekaterinburg never learned illustration in a focused manner, she simply liked to draw. She drew her inspiration primarily from different stories: fairy tales and true stories.

Travelpedia: Christmas in Europe

  • Weihnachtsreise durch Europa. Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko @ Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko
    Since there are restrictions in place and quarantine requirements everywhere, this year’s Christmas and New Year holidays will be unusual. We do have the World Wide Web and so we can still visit one another and celebrate together – if virtually.
  • Weihnachten. Wien. Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko @ Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko
    Vienna, Austria. Until not so long ago, strict quarantine measures were in place in Austria. Come early December and it was still unclear whether Christmas markets would be cancelled or not. There was hope that they would be allowed to open, albeit with restrictions. And so stalls were set up in some places in Vienna. But the markets will not open after all and the stalls remain closed. It has however been promised that ski slopes and cross-country trails will open for Christmas.
  • Weihnachten. Prag. Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko @ Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko
    Prague, Czech Republic. There will be no large Christmas markets this year in the city centre. The people of Prague have already prepared themselves for a modest Christmas. However, the city is not doing away with festivities altogether. As always, a gigantic Christmas tree has been set up in the Old Town Square. Smaller markets are open here and there; for example, there is a small Christmas market on Wenceslas Square for passers-by to enjoy. And there are some stand-alone stalls where one can buy the famous Trdelnik. Every year before Christmas, live carp are sold on the streets of Prague. This tradition will be continued in 2020 as well.
  • Weihnachten. Berlin. Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko @ Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko
    Berlin, Germany. In Germany, the coronavirus restrictions are being taken very seriously. No Christmas markets this year. Cafés and restaurants are closed. Until the country returned to strict quarantine rules, there was a festive atmosphere, thanks to mulled wine. Several small stalls, as well as closed cafés and restaurants in the German capital, were selling the Christmas drink to take away: through a window or from an improvised counter at the front door. Mulled wine walks have become the in thing: you walk through different districts in Berlin - Neukölln, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg – and try the mulled wine as you go along. The new restrictions have made this impossible. But one can still always enjoy the delicious, festive drink at home.
  • Weihnachten. Tiefenbach. Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko @ Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko
    Tiefenbach, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. In smaller cities and villages, the residents are giving their best in order to create a festive mood. In Tiefenbach, for example, the local newspaper has called on the people to decorate their houses and gardens with particular care for the neighbours to enjoy during the pandemic, and to contribute to the festive spirit.
  • Weihnachten. Moskau. Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko @ Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko
    Moscow, Russia. In Moscow, the annual Journey to Christmas festival has been cancelled because of the pandemic. In order to economize and promote sustainability, it was also decided that decorations and lights from the previous year would be reused. However, open-air ice skating rinks are operational, an example being the city’s main skating rink in VDNKh Park. Of course social distancing and masks are mandatory at this rink, but that does not stop the enthusiastic skating fans.
  • Weihnachten. Tring. Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko @ Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko
    Tring, Hertfordshire County, England. In England, people are being requested to observe all safety measures during the holidays and to maintain distance. However, they can visit each other from 23 to 27 December. But with restrictions: no more than two families can be invited. The British are being advised not to hug older relatives, refrain from giving guests a welcome kiss, to wash hands frequently, and not to eat from somebody else’s plate.
  • Weihnachten. London. Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko @ Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko
    London, England. Shortly after the nationwide lockdown had been lifted, the highest level of restrictions was reintroduced in London. All Christmas markets in the English capital have been cancelled, including the large market in Hyde Park. Bars, cafés and restaurants are closed, only deliveries allowed. Instead of parties in crowded bars, young people have to make do with online parties.
  • Weihnachten. Internet. Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko @ Alexandra Wodolaschtschenko
    Conclusion When personal contact needs to be restricted, people try to meet virtually. Online bars are created, zoom parties are becoming increasingly popular and several companies are using the online format for their Christmas parties this year. This year, the internet is helping people spend time together during the holiday season.

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More about Graphic Travelogues

Graphic Travelogues Graphik: Dominik Wendland © Goethe-Institut New Delhi

About the artists

Learn more about our well-known artists, including Barbara Yelin, Reinhard Kleist and Sarnath Banerjee. All with proven comic expertise and sometimes with more, sometimes with less travel experience in the respective country.

Graphic Travelogues Graphik: Dominik Wendland © Goethe-Institut New Delhi

About Graphic Travelogues

Graphic Travelogues presents travel experiences by comic artists from different countries, illuminates and identifies recurring topics. From sketches to graphic novels, graphic diaries and travel drawings, we collect treasures here and question concepts and motivations, techniques and experiences.