Ten minutes from my home is one of the most colourful bush markets in Melbourne. And tonight was the annual Christmas Twilight Market. It had been ages since I’d last been. How often do we ignore what’s right on our doorstep? But not tonight.
Set amongst the gum trees the St Andrews Market has been going for 40 years. Every Saturday, come rain or shine, at 6am the kookaburras herald in a new day – and market – at St Andrews.
With a history of alternative beginnings, it continues to bring out all the hippies in the area. Satin pants, tie-dye, piercings proudly displayed, the crowd is a happy fusion of alternative styles.
it’s resisted many pushes to become more commercial, paved and ‘up graded’.
So tonight 8pm, while the air was still balmy we decided it was the perfect night for a bush stroll. There must have been thousands of people there, and there’s no parking so you have to walk for ages, yet far from feeling rushed and frazzled the atmosphere was relaxed, laid back and friendly.
Se amongst towering gum trees and bush tracks with tents perched on grassy flats, it’s definitely not your usual Christmas shopping centre madness.
The Chai Tent is the place to go to relax and spread out on the large carpet, nestled amongst the pillows sipping tea, coffee or whatever takes your fancy. Here we met characters wearing multicoloured leggings, tie-dye singlets and sporting long grey ponytails.
There were stalls selling aromatic candles, hand made finger puppets, satin and silk offerings, there were rune readings, drums acoustic and jazz music. You can have your palm read, or a massage (I resisted tonight!) or just wander around listening to the buskers and soaking up the atmosphere.
Tantalising aromas of Thai and Indian cuisines filled the air. Luckily, or maybe not, we’d already eaten dinner.
I could have really over-indulged but I resisted. But it was relaxing wandering the stalls and fossiking for gems and potential treasure and soaking up the community atmosphere.
With less than ten days till Christmas, it’s no wonder so many people were out tonight.
How many others like shopping at markets?