Vienna’s Pink Christmas celebrates the holiday, queer-style

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One of the best parts of traveling abroad is discovering the local traditions of the land you are visiting, especially the holiday traditions. Here in Vienna, the holiday season is all about the famed Christmas markets; stalls selling hot mulled wine, warm pretzels and pastries, and assorted arts and crafts.

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But this year, a delightful new market joins the ranks. Pink Christmas in Vienna, located in the famed Naschmarkt beside the Kettenbruckengasse U4 metro station, is Vienna’s first ever gay and lesbian Christmas market. Under the slogan “Queer, Pink and Proud,” Pink Christmas was created by Positive Dialogue, an HIV positive support group in the city.

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Pink Christmas features handcrafted arts and gourmet food and beverages sold by queer/allied merchants, with a portion of the proceeds going to different charities around the city. There are nightly musical performances and dance parties; while walking through the market you can hear a cover artist replacing the lyrics to popular songs: Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” becomes “Feeling Gay.” And of course, no LGBT celebration would be complete without ABBA spinning on the turn tables.

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This is the first year of Pink Christmas, but hopefully it will be just the start of a longstanding queer Christmas tradition. If you find your way to Vienna this holiday season, be sure to stop buy and enjoy a hot pink cup of raspberry eggnog, which tastes even better than it looks!

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