For many the cancellation of last year’s Christmas Markets was made even more disappointing because of the loss of an especially important festive tradition – the ever-popular Christmas Market Mugs.
Over the last 22 years of Manchester’s world-famous Christmas Markets, visitors have built up impressive collections of the limited edition mugs, each year with a different eye-catching design.
Previous years have seen kissing snowmen, interactive and wearable red nose reindeers, and array of wonderfully creative festive graphic designs depicting polars bears and even Santa himself.
This year’s mugs – a little different to previous years – will remind visitors that “Christmas is what you make”.
Originally designed for the Christmas Markets that never happened in 2020, they won’t – for the first time in the history of the festive cup - have a date on them, perhaps making them even more collectable.
Making sure the mugs do not go to waste, they will be the official Christmas Market mugs for 2021, encouraging people to make the most of this time of year following a difficult 18 months for many.
80,000 mugs in total – 40,000 each of the coffee and gluhwein mugs – will be available throughout the Christmas season.
As ever, visitors will be given a mug when purchasing a hot drink, and will be asked to pay a £3 deposit (£1.50 for beer and wine glasses) – and collectors can either choose to return the mug for the deposit, or keep the mug as a memento of their visit.
The mugs will first be used on Cathedral Gardens from this Friday 21 October as some food and drink stalls open as part of the Skate Manchester ice rink.
The Winter Gardens (in Piccadilly Gardens) will be open from Friday 12 November to Sunday 2 January.
And the Christmas Markets across another six city centre squares, will be open from Friday 12 November to 22 December.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s Christmas spokesperson, said:
“Second only to the disappointment of the cancellation of last year’s Christmas Market was the realisation that there would be no Christmas Market mug! We know that some visitors have a complete collection of mugs going back more than 10 years – and we expect those people to be first in line for a warming gluhwein or hot chocolate.
“The ice rink in Cathedral Gardens opens this week, so get your skates on in preparation for The Winter Garden and our world-famous Christmas Markets, which open on 12 November. We can’t wait to see the festive transformation of the city centre after a really difficult year for so many people.”