Italy Today

Italian Christmas Markets: Milan

The magical atmosphere of the Oh bej! Oh bej! market

Italian Christmas Markets: Milan

Claudia Astarita

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In case you are in Milan, please do not miss the most traditional and most popular of all the events in the Sant'Ambrogio week: the Oh Bej! Oh Bej! Christmas market.

Organised in honour of the city's patron, Sant'Ambrogio, it is celebrated on December 7th and lasts an average of four days. The most typical goods that are sold at Oh bej! Oh bej! are sweets and winter delicacies, handicrafts such as Christmas decorations, toys, antiques, souvenirs, bric-a-brac, and more.

Traditionally organised in the streets around the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, in recent years the market has moved to the Castello Sforzesco, almost like an embrace around one of the city landmarks; this gives give more space to traders and to a large number of visitors who flock to the stalls every day.

In Milanese dialect "Oh Bej! Oh Bej!" means "Oh beautiful, Oh beautiful" and tradition has it that it was a cry of joy from the children of the city upon seeing the enticing products on display.

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