Christmas markets have been part of this festive time for centuries in Germany. They were usually held in front of churches and were looked at as part of a church visit. The oldest recorded market dates to 1310 in Munich, Germany. It was called "Nikolausdult" and was very different from the markets of today. It was an opportunity for farmers to come to town, do some shopping and at the same time, offer their wares.
The reformation of the church in the 16th century brought changes to the Christmas markets. Nikolaus was replaced by the Christkindl (Christchild) as the gift giver and the Nikolaus markets became Christkindl markets. This custom began in the Protestant areas of Bavaria with Nuremberg being the first city to call its market "Christkindlesmarkt." Munich, a Catholic city, changed its "Nikolausdult" to "Christkindlmarkt" in 1805.
"This little town is built from wood and canvas. Its splendour's short,
From Nuremberg's Prologue of the Christ Child, an essential part of the Christkindl Market opening ceremonies.
In modern times, Christkindl Markets combine the festive atmosphere of heavenly choirs and succulent foods with gift shopping for such items as toys and other presents for children, crafts and gift items.
Kitchener, Ontario, is the natural location for Canada's original Christkindl Market. Originally known as Berlin, Kitchener was founded by German-speaking Mennonites who emigrated from Pennsylvania to till the virgin soil of what is now Waterloo Region. In fact, descendants of those original Mennonites can still be seen in the region driving their horse-drawn buggies and selling produce in local markets.
In 1996, Christkindl Market was brought to City Hall by founder Tony Bergmeier, to breathe life into downtown Kitchener. Today, over 35,000 visitors from across North America come to experience our award-winning event. Visit "Come to Germany" website.
Christkindl Market was brought to Kitchener's City Hall by founder Tony Bergmeier. It was designed to breathe life into the core of downtown Kitchener. Today, over 35,000 visitors from across North America come to experience our award-winning festival.
Christkindl Market continues to qualify as "Top 50" Festivals and Events in Ontario.
Christkindl Market was awarded ‘Best New Festival 1999’ by Festivals and Events Ontario and 'Top 10 Events in Ontario.' Other awards include: Oktoberfest Parade - Wunderbar (won 2X), Harvest, Sponsorship and Spirit and Enthusiasm. Kitchener Downtown Business Association (KDBA) - Arts and Culture Contribution.
Christkindl Market is only possible through the efforts of hundreds of volunteers. In 2013, Ontario Volunteer Service Award recipients included Seven (7) Christkindl Market Committee Members! *
(l to r) * Warren Stauch, * Monica Reid, * Yvonne Heidrich, John Milloy MPP, Astrid Braun President, * Herta Eichinger, * Gerhard Griebenow, * Richard Bruckeder (not in photo * Sonja Pratt)