For the first time since World War II, Germany is canceling its famous Nuremberg Christmas Market. The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt has been running since 1628 and is one of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets. During the four weeks of Advent, the city’s market square turns into a village of wooden stalls decorated with red and white cloth. Each stall accommodates dozens of vendors selling handicrafts, grilling bratwursts, and serving glasses of delicious mulled wine.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the historic market is being canceled for the first time since WWII. Back then, the market was suspended until 1948. This year, city officials had hoped to move forward with the market, but the recent spike in COVID-19 cases has made it abundantly clear that that won’t be possible.

Marcus König, the mayor of Nuremberg, said in a statement, “This decision is very difficult for us. After much deliberation, and in order to protect the population, we have come to the conclusion that the Christmas market will not take place this year…We cannot justify an additional gathering of many thousands of people in the city center.”

When the market eventually resumed after WWII, it represented a new chapter in German life and hope for the future. Let’s hope the same is true this time.