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.
For over 600 years German communities have continued the tradition of erecting Christmas
markets in the central square their cities and towns – erecting tiny wooden huts where cooks, artisans
and merchants could peddle their wares and providing a place where people could meet to share songs
food and gifts. We’ve continued that tradition, bringing together more than 70 vendors of local artisanal
handicraft, decorations, jewellery, food and more. With an emphasis on Old World European theme and
flavour you’re sure to find one-of-a-kind gifts and treasures – to sample on-site, or to take home for
family and friends.
Christkindl Market donates $500 towards the purchase of German books!
Through the sale of gluehwein and Christkindl mugs in 2012, we raised $500 for the Concordia German Language Schhol. Pictured here is Richard Bruckeder, Vice President of Christkindl Market, presenting the cheque to Gerhard Griebenow, Concordia German Language School - Principal. PHOTO courtesy of: Herr Kroisenbrunner
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 by Festivals and Events Ontario and 'Top 10 Events in Ontario.' Other awards include: Oktoberfest Parade - Wunderbar, 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)