There’s more to the Baku Christmas Market than just the warm glow of festive lights, as this bright red classic car laden with gifts signifies – here, not only is copious Christmas cheer available, but charity and goodwill in equal parts too
Though Christmas Day is not an officially recognised holiday in Azerbaijan, as this image taken at the increasingly popular Baku Christmas Market attests, festive celebrations have long-permeated the country’s larger cities, such as Baku and Sumqayit. As the month of December begins, houses, workplaces and town centres all begin to gently but assuredly transform themselves, until whole districts become ignited with festive lights and well-lit conifer trees.
With the congenial motto for this year’s Baku Christmas Market (Soyuq Əllər, İsti Ürək) translating as “Cold Hands, Warm Hearts”, it should come as no surprise that this event is being organised by the Nargis Fund – a charitable organisation designed to help poor families, orphanages and sick children throughout Azerbaijan. Indeed, a great proportion of the money collected during the 45 days of the fair will go directly to this charity, who facilitate social events, provide advice and material assistance and fund vital operations for those most in need.
Perhaps the spirit of the event is best encapsulated by this scarlet sedan, full of festive delights literally bursting from the boot, a wintry and wondrous sight. Christmas is a time of giving, and everybody, one hopes, is able to get behind the charitable ingenuity rooted within this Christmas affair – even if they do stop to take a selfie en route.
Photography by Eldar Aliyev (Instagram: @ealiyevv)
Words by Henry Ludlam-Steinke