The Sunday Market is a traditional concept which has been in vogue for generations now. It is essentially a farmers’ market where most local people gather to buy, sell or meet other people. This concept was initially a feature of pre-modern peasant economies. However over the past few decades it has become a major tourist attraction. In ancient times, these markets were set up for retail trading of grains but today different vendors are invited here to sell a number of items like fruits, vegetables, flowers, second-hand furniture, everyday household items, agricultural products, prepared foods, farm animals, clothing, jewellery, kitchen utensils, audio CDs, tools, shoes, traditional crafts, modern art, etc. Heavy and bulky goods which cannot be carried around are not usually items that are found in these markets.
You can find these markets in both rural and urban areas:
In the urban areas, every Sunday, one part of the town/city is blocked by the officials where different vendors set up stalls and host a Sunday Market. The spot is usually a centralized one so that it can attract maximum number of people.
These markets are modernized versions of flea markets where one can purchase almost any good they wish for.
Stalls are usually set up early in the morning and the market continues to function till night. There are different kinds of stalls depending on which the vendors are charged differently.
In the rural areas, a Sunday Market provides a retail outlet for those communities which are too small to support permanent retail establishments. Even today, the main essence of these markets is alive only in the rural areas.
People gather not just for buying and selling but there are a number of other activities. In the urban areas, these markets have been modified to suit the needs of various places. They have become a way to attract tourists however in the rural areas people still host these markets to bring their small community together.
The Sunday market in Thailand: a favourite of the international tourists
Walking Street: the Sunday Market in Chiang Mai, Thailand is one of the biggest and most popular markets in the world. It extends for roughly 1 km, starts at 4pm and continues till midnight and attracts a huge number of people every week.
The area is closed to traffic on Sundays because of which the shoppers can comfortably walk around the market buying are bargaining for goods on display.
The most unique part about Walking Street is that unlike the other flea markets in Thailand which display imitation designer labels, this market displays traditional art of Thailand.
Most of the goods are handmade and are of the best quality. The market is surrounded by a number of restaurants where the crowd can sit and enjoy delicious meals.
Another unique feature of this market is that there are a number of entertainers like musicians, dancers that start to perform after dark. One can also get a foot massage and relax on a Sunday evening. The entire atmosphere is very festive and is a must visit.
Sunday Markets are also very common in Europe and China. London has over 10 markets every week. China sells most of its traditional crafts through these markets. These markets have gained immense popularity in the past decade. They provide a platform for small sellers to compete with one another. They provide the shoppers with a day filled with excitement as most products sold in these markets are unique. The most thrilling way to spend a Sunday is at one of weekend markets where you can go and explore a variety of shopping and dining options!