THE GOLDEN BOOK OF THE 20th ANNIVERSARY – A FINE DOCUMENT
In 1992 the first Christmas in Europe took place in Kaysersberg thanks to the determination of Christiane Keller, ‘Christmas Chris’ as some organisers affectionately call her.
Since that time Christmas in Europe has spread across the continent: Kaysersberg (France), Strasbourg (France), Copenhagen (Denmark), Budapest (Hungary), Barcelona (Spain), Espoo (Finland), Podebrady (Czech Republic), Bonneville (France), Rhodes (Greece), Poznan (Poland), Kuressaare (Estonia), Senigallia (Italy), Bad Ischl (Austria), Fundão (Portugal), Orebro (Sweden), Semmering (Austria), Château-Chinon (France), Poznan (Poland), Ponta Delgada (Azores/Portugal), Zagreb (Croatia) and, from November 28th to December 4th 2012, Budapest (Hungary) for the second time.
A ‘Golden Book’ recording these first 20 events has been published, thanks to the efforts of Marija Rašan-Križanac, director of the Zagreb Hotel School, and her colleagues. It was a mammoth task to bring together, year after year, the archives of these incomparable Christmases in Europe organised on each occasion by a hotel school with the support of the European Association of Hotel and Tourism Schools (AEHT in French) whose membership includes 400 schools in more than 40 countries.
This Golden Book has arrived at just the right time to record the history of this event which year after year brings together around 20 schools from as many countries for an event based on three aspects of Christmas: traditions, with an exhibition stand showing recipes and other specialities of the country represented; gastronomy, with a European buffet bringing together recipes specific to Christmas; and finally culture, with each school presenting a Christmas custom through song, music and dance. Just as we saw in 1992 in Kaysersberg. And just as we will see in 2013 with the Marseilles Hotel School.
This beautiful event, born in Alsace, is certainly a sign that despite the difficulties, the European idea is making progress in people’s minds. Each new Christmas in Europe, where young people from such different horizons meet together, reinforces their feeling of belonging to the same community, that of Europe.