If you’ve been craving a bit of European Christmas culture in your life recently, or if you’ve been daydreaming of Germany’s famous festive markets, you’re in luck. Ottawa's very own European-style Christmas markets have officially had the seal of approval from the German ambassador to Canada, and Ottawa's markets are apparently “exactly” like the markets in Germany!

On Friday evening, Ottawa’s German-inspired Christmas market at Lansdowne Park was officially opened to the public for the first time.

Amongst many familiar faces at the event, including Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, was the German ambassador to Canada, Sabine Sparwasser.

Speaking to CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning, Sparwasser explained that the scenes in Ottawa on Friday night were strikingly similar to those of her homeland in Germany, where the tradition of festive markets began hundreds of years ago.

Sparwasser confirmed the authenticity of Ottawa’s markets, saying, "I think it looks exactly like in Germany … The huts look exactly like the ones we have in Germany in virtually every town."

The markets were officially opened for the first time on Friday, meaning that Ottawa residents will no longer have to travel all the way to Toronto to enjoy this festive Euro-inspired event.

In addition to a whopping 30-foot sparkling Christmas tree, visitors to the market can enjoy authentic mulled wine and an array of traditional gifts and goodies, perfect for filling a special Christmas stocking this year.

For the foodies, the market cabins will be selling tons of traditional snacks too, including famous German sausages, European soups and homemade applesauce.

If you don't want to be spending at the markets, there's plenty to see and do for free instead.

From fire pits to keep you warm, to live entertainment and musicians, you don't actually have to pay a cent to have a good time!

In a tweet on Saturday morning, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson shared some pictures of the event's opening evening, writing, "What an incredible turnout for the unveiling of Ottawa’s first annual Christmas Market!"

He continued, "Come check out all the amazing vendors inside the Aberdeen Pavilion and check out our beautiful Christmas Tree!"

While Ottawa's market is a little more modest than some of the ones you might see in Germany, it could still be the start of a new tradition in Ottawa, Sparwasser said.

"It's a start into a tradition, and that's what Christmas is all about, and that's what Christmas markets are all about."

Ottawa's Christmas market will be open every weekend until December 22. More information can be found here.

There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.

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