Despite security fears, Germans aim to enjoy Christmas market season

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

15 PHOTOS
German Christmas Market
See Gallery
Despite security fears, Germans aim to enjoy Christmas market season
A man dressed as Santa Claus stands in front of Germany's biggest Christmas tree, illuminated by 48,000 lights at the traditional Christmas market in Dortmund, Germany, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. The 45 meter high tree was built with 1,700 spruces and is a main attraction during advent season. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Germany's biggest Christmas tree is illuminated with 48,000 lights at the traditional Christmas market in Dortmund, Germany, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. The 45 meter high tree was built with 1,700 spruces and is a main attraction during advent season. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
The moon rises behind Germany's biggest Christmas at the traditional Christmas market in Dortmund, Germany, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. The 45 meter high tree was built with 1,700 spruces and is a main attraction during advent season. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Germany's biggest Christmas tree is illuminated by 48,000 lights at the traditional Christmas market in Dortmund, Germany, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. The 45 meter high tree was built with 1,700 spruces and is a main attraction during the advent season. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 24: A traditional device called a pyramide stands at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz as the landmark broadcast tower stands behind on November 24, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week as Europe remains tense following the recent terror attacks in Paris and the continued manhunt for those involved. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 24: Visitors walk past a stall selling illuminated stars at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz on November 24, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week as Europe remains tense following the recent terror attacks in Paris and the continued manhunt for those involved. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 24: Visitors walk among stalls at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz on November 24, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week as Europe remains tense following the recent terror attacks in Paris and the continued manhunt for those involved. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 24: Visitors walk among stalls at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz as a ferris wheel stands behind on November 24, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week as Europe remains tense following the recent terror attacks in Paris and the continued manhunt for those involved. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
People walk around a Christmas market on November 23, 2015 in Augsburg, Germany. AFP PHOTO / DPA / KARL-JOSEF HILDENBRAND +++GERMANY OUT / AFP / DPA / KARL-JOSEF HILDENBRAND (Photo credit should read KARL-JOSEF HILDENBRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 24: Two police officers walk among stalls at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz on November 24, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week as Europe remains tense following the recent terror attacks in Paris and the continued manhunt for those involved. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Visitors walk among stalls at the annual Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt on its opening day on November 23, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week and though police are on hgh alert following the recent terror attacks in Paris authorities say they will not be posting a strong police presence at the Christmas markets. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: A visitor looks at a Christmas tree at a stall at the annual Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt on its opening day on November 23, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week and though police are on hgh alert following the recent terror attacks in Paris authorities say they will not be posting a strong police presence at the Christmas markets. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Visitors crowd a stall selling mulled wine at the annual Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt on its opening day on November 23, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week and though police are on hgh alert following the recent terror attacks in Paris authorities say they will not be posting a strong police presence at the Christmas markets. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Visitors buy mulled wine at a stal the annual Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt on its opening day on November 23, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week and though police are on hgh alert following the recent terror attacks in Paris authorities say they will not be posting a strong police presence at the Christmas markets. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


BERLIN, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Germans appear determined to enjoy their traditional outdoor Christmas markets this year even after the bloody militant attacks on Paris that have raised fears for public security all over western Europe.

"One surely is scared. After all, you can't rule out that something might also happen here," said Doris Kirsch, a pensioner visiting the Christmas market in Dortmund at the weekend. "But life goes on and we should keep our chins up."

Some German cities increased the police presence at their Christmas markets but national police union chief Rainer Wendt cautioned against overbearing security measures.

"We don't want to turn Christmas markets into events bristling with guns," he said, adding that instead police would generally drop by every so often.

Around 160 million visitors have descended on the roughly 2,500 Christmas markets in Germany every year in recent times, according to the Federal Association of Fairground Showmen.

But this year is different. There is a good deal of anxiety that the open markets, famous for decorated booths selling mulled wine, sausages and candied almonds, may be easy targets for Islamic State militants.

Compounding those fears, police on Tuesday went into action after getting a tip-off that Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam was in northwestern Germany. The dragnet ended with no arrests.

The first Christmas markets opened a week after the bombings and shootings in Paris on Nov. 13 that killed 130 people.

Last week, state authorities canceled a soccer friendly match in Hanover between Germany and the Netherlands, citing a specific security threat - plans, according to German media, to detonate bombs at the stadium and a train station in the city.

Heavily armed police now patrol the streets, train stations and airports in many German cities.

Christmas market organizers and the police say that there is no concrete evidence that the markets are a target.

Most Christmas markets are located in open squares or streets without designated entry points, making monitoring and security checks difficult.

At Dortmund's Christmas market, Andreas Schoehnfelder shared the lesson he drew from the Paris attacks: "I don't have a problem at all, there's no uneasy feeling about coming here. After all, things can happen anywhere and I'm simply happy that the Christmas markets are up and running now." (Reporting by Tina Bellon and Reuters TV Editing by Joseph Nasr and Mark Heinrich)

Related: Pope claims Christmas is a 'Charade' this year:

Pope Claims Christmas Is A 'Charade' This Year

More from AOL.com:
Warplane pilots allegedly shot at while parachuting
Trump threatens 'very bad' move to thwart rivals' plot
Inside of bunker is much more lavish than you'd imagine

Read Full Story

People are Reading