Manchester Christmas Markets have officially run out of its beloved festive mugs, despite a stock of 140,000 cups.
The hugely popular event has now resorted to using leftover stock from previous years for its gluhwein and hot chocolates, billing them as ‘vintage and retro’.
It means that visitors to the Christmas Markets over its final few days will no longer be handed the 2022 design – featuring Christmas characters like Santa, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, and polar bears all high-fiving each other – and will instead throw it back as far as 2012.
Shoppers pay a deposit of £3 for a mug, which is returned when mugs are handed back in at the bars – but it seems like this year everyone’s chosen to hang on to theirs as a souvenir.
Manchester City Council said that 80,000 collectable 2022 mugs were printed this year, with a further 60,000 printed with no dates to be used in future years.
After a particularly busy festive period, which has included the city’s first ever Christmas Parade, the entire stock has been obliterated.
By 12 December – just over a month since the markets opened – every 2022 mug had either been sold or was doing the rounds of the markets in its rental scheme.
Then by 15 December, a whole week before the festivities wrap up, they were all gone and were being replaced by vintage mugs from previous years.
Councillor Pat Karney, Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council, said: “Our Christmas mugs have always been a massive hit with each year’s design eagerly anticipated, but this year they seem to have been top of everyone’s wish-list and the demand for them has been phenomenal!
Previous Manchester Christmas Markets mug designs:
“Bad luck of course for anyone who maybe hasn’t been to the markets yet and so has missed out on one of them, but with all our vintage mugs now out in the markets until they close, what a great chance to grab a piece of Manchester Christmas past for all the retro-heads and collectors out there!
“The vintage mugs have been proving a massive hit with visitors over the weekend who simply can’t get enough of them and have been lapping up the nostalgic designs with their kissing snowmen and mistletoe, and of course our 2018 vintage with their interactive and wearable red nose reindeers!
“Don’t miss out – come and grab one!”
Manchester’s world-famous Christmas Markets are spread across nine sites in the city centre, and are open until 5pm this Thursday 22 December.
The platform splits into two areas, a bar space and a family-friendly, zero-alcohol viewing platform.
The evening will consist of DJ sets and a countdown to midnight displayed on a big screen.
In previous years, the Council has arranged a huge fireworks display, previously at the Town Hall but in more recent years at the Cathedral.
But this year they say they ‘simply cannot justify’ the expense when budgets are stretched so thin.
Instead, the council plans to use its limited resources for free community events year-round, like the recent Christmas Parade.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, said: “We know that New Year’s Eve is a special night – one that everyone looks forward to – and we are all disappointed that we can’t go ahead with our usual fireworks this year.
“Unfortunately, we simply cannot justify the increasing costs of putting on a big display while also worrying about funding essential Council services.
“We believe that we should use the limited funding we have to put on free events in communities throughout the year and we look forward to seeing more of this in the coming months.
And this year’s instalment was even more impressive, with a target of 16 (SIXTEEN!) cans in his sights.
Once again, what starts off as a fairly ordered and logical Twitter thread soon descends into madness, including dancing videos, puns, swearing, and plenty of typos.
Rob’s tradition, now coined ‘Boddmas’, has even drawn support from Ed Gamble this year.
And for 2022, he worked out how to set up a crowd-funded hangover recovery fund, with more than 100 people donating to get him through his Boddingtons hangover.
Highlights from this year included an impassioned rant about Declan Rice (‘a sound as f*ck geeza, heart of gold, wonderful sprit, we can’t get enough’), a break for hoisin duck pancakes, and a desperate bid for the attention of whoever manages Boddingtons’ social media channels.
The ‘official’ rules of Boddmas include sticking to a 12pm-12am window for the binge-drinking marathon, tweeting an update each time a can is opened, and ‘having fun’.
Reaching the halfway mark, Rob tweeted: “Number 8 is making me sentimental, how far we’ve come how far we have to go. It’s all the same when you’re rushing on Boddingtons.”
The typos really kicked up a notch after this, with him adding: “Feeling cockey about how fine I feel after 10… but then realised I’ve got 6 to go… Have a feeling I might be humbled in the final striaght.”
As things went on, he posted: “No13! Come at me! Like Ally McOist I’m mosit for it! I hope to have a face so red and booze bitten one day. One can only dream. We love you Ally!” – which is… definitely words.
The mental no-context celebrity mentions continued after that, including this: “Fifteen. Reckon I could beat 50 cent in a wrestling match at this point. He must be old by now no? Get rich for die wrestling the Boddingtons guy! What’s his name Curtis Jackson right? Bring it on Curtis!”
And then this morning? Rob says he ‘woke up sweating yellow’.
During the Boddmas celebrations, one person Photoshopped Rob’s head into a World Cup photo as a mark of encouragement, writing: “You are Messi and number 16 is your World Cup Final.”
Someone else said: “If you only do one thing this Boxing Day, make sure it’s watching @Robertdcopland drink a mountain of Boddington’s (16 cans). Last year’s 15 cans was utterly glorious. #BODDMAS2022”
Another person posted: “For the second year in a row i am fully emotionally invested in @Robertdcopland trying to drink 16 cans of boddingtons.”
Dozens more shared photos of themselves watching along with a can of their own in their hands.
Here’s hoping this is a tradition that never ends – and we’re looking forward to the 17 can mission in 2023.