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133 Days ‘til our festival of German Christmas December 7 to 10, 2017

Christmas Traditions

Christkindl Market's own Post Office

Bring back the tradition of sending Christmas cards and letters to family and friends. It's extra special to get a card in the mail these days, and especially this time of year. 

Hey kids, if your mail is addressed to Santa Claus - North Pole, it doesn't need a stamp!

If your mail is going to friends and family, drop your stamped mail into our mailbox and our own Christkindl Postmaster, “Hannelore Maiterth,” will add Canada Post's official Christkindl Market postmarking "cancel." 

In the past 15 years, Hannelore has postmarked over 22,000 envelopes and postcards! 

Philatelics and hobby postmark collectors, you'll be excited to know that our 2016 postmark features an all NEW postmarking in celebration of our 20th year!

If you decide last minute to send cards, there are vendors at Christkindl Market selling beautiful Christmas and holiday cards. Bring your stamps (we don't carry them), purchase the cards, relax on the 10th floor cafeteria and fill in your message. Then address the envelopes, add the stamps and drop your mail into our postbox located on the 1st floor, next to the main entrance to City Hall.   

Did you know? A cancellation (or cancel) is a postal marking applied to a postage stamp or a piece of postal stationery indicating that the item has been used. The primary purpose of cancels is to prevent the reuse of stamps.

Christmas Tree, Tannenbaum 

2007 tree

Christmas Tree, or Tannenbaum is one of the most popular traditions associated with the Christmas festivity. It is often a spruce or fir tree that is decorated with hundreds of lights during the days before Christmas.

The tree is central to our Christkindl Market celebration. 

This year's blue spruce was donated by Steve and Monika Robinson of Kitchener and is decorated with energy-saving LED lights (photo below, right). After the season is over, the tree will be shredded into mulch for city gardens.

Sing along in German when you hear this well known tune:

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
Wie grün sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Wie grün sind deine Blätter!

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
Wie oft hat schon zur Winterszeit
Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Dein Kleid will mich was lehren:
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
Gibt Mut und Kraft zu jeder Zeit!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Dein Kleid will mich was lehren!

Interested in more traditions? Check out the Seasonal Specialties including recipes.

And just for fun...

Oh tannenbaum.

Oh tannenbaum.

Wie gruen sind deine "Gurken"

Celebrate Christmas in the German Tradition 

For 4 days in December, the streets of Kitchener Waterloo transform into a traditional festival of 
Christmas that dates back 700 years. Known as Christkindl Market, this event recreates the sights, 
sounds, smells and spirit of the Christmas festivals found across Germany. A truly unique experience, 
come see why German Christkindl Markets have become a worldwide phenomenon, visited by millions, 
in cities around the world.

It is a magical experience for me as a vendor and all the visitors that attend. Everybody is happy and excited and enjoying all the events, food, atmosphere, entertainment, and the unique vendors wares. Thanks to those that had the vision to start Christkindl 20 years ago, and all that played a role over the years to making Christkindl a success.
Beautiful. Love the nativity and ornaments. Everything ist wunderbar
Love this festival - begins Christmas!
Love your market!!
Can you please do a candlelight precession on Friday and Saturday nights too?
I just want to thank the team that sets up the Christmas Tree and oversees Christkindl. What a wonderful way to spend a lunch hour! I go every year on Thursday and Friday. I LOVE it! It just lifts the spirits and is so "magical"! Thank you for such a wonderful experience, every year!
I'm now feeling the Christmas Spirit. Thank you!
It was amazing what wonders it did for us! From the lights and the music and the smells and watching everyone smiling and laughing...it instantly lifted our spirits and helped us keep them there through the whole holiday. Now we can't wait year to year for the first ads and we rush to mark it on the calendars. We always go the Friday night, no kids or friends, just us - to sit and take it all in. You don't know what you are missing until you have been there!" - Letter from
Excellent community spirit and great event for family. Loved the food, gluhwein, apple fritters, sauerkraut..
We love it! It gets us in the Christmas spirit!
Christmas spirit ... we'd like to see all of the vendors. It's a wonderful event and my Christmas spirit doesn't begin until I attend your festival
The joy is yours!
As always, our family enjoyed the Christkindl Market so very much! Thank you for nurturing this tradition in Kitchener - we hope it keeps going for many, many years... Thank you once again for a wonderful Christmas experience our family has made part of our yearly tradition!
Love the market, reminds me of my time living in Germany
The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Kitchener
Think Oktoberfest, except that the beer is replaced with Christmas cheer.
"Homesick" for the sights, smells and sounds of Germany. I had been living in a small town in the Black Forest region while I was teaching on the Canadian Forces Base in Lahr. On my return to Stratford, I found the Kitchener Christkindl Market. Somehow, I did not feel quite as "homesick" for the sights, smells and sounds of Germany! It is a wonderful experience, one I look forward to every year.
As the rest of the world gallops forward, there is a tradition that keeps people in Waterloo Region firmly rooted in the past, at least during Christmas. The annual four-day Christkindl Market opens Thursday in front of Kitchener City Hall, recreating a Bavarian tradition first officially recorded in 1310. The original market, called Nikolausdult, was designed as a temporary affair constructed from wood and canvas and erected in front of a church. Visitors from far and wide would arrive to both sell and purchase items, some from other countries, giving the market an international flavour. Then in a few days, it would all disappear. "It's about tradition," she said. "That's what people are looking for." The market features vendors, selling all manner of items: German-made toys, handcrafted jewelry, art glass items, gift baskets, beeswax candles, gifts, chocolate and marzipan, original art, music, leather, hand-painted wearable art, tree decorations, music boxes and everyone's favourite, apple fritters. Christkindl Market takes over much of city hall, both inside and out, with gift vendors indoors and food outdoors on Civic Square, where they will pander to anyone with a hankering for Germanic food, including schnitzel, marinated herring and Schinken on a bun as well as the regular crowd pleasers such as sausage, potato pancakes, stollen and waffles. This is no time to go on a diet. And for those needing a rest, the 10th floor has been turned into a place to sit, relax and eat your goodies.
Just like Germany! Love the organ grinder!
Santa does not have to be in a red suit The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Kitchener: My four-year-old daughter; two-year-old son, my Mom and I had gone to Christkindl on Dec 7. My son was in total rapture as he looked upon a display of moving toys. To the right of me was a lady watching my son's gazing and dreamy state. The lady took a box with the toy inside and shoved it under my arm; my reaction was no, no, no. I looked at this kind-hearted lady and she said she wanted to buy it for the little guy, and that she was going to be thinking about him on Christmas morning as he unwraps his gift from her. I want her to know Santa does not have to be in a red suit with bells on and a beard. He could also be a she, a kind and special lady.
Christmas spirit ...we like to see all of the vendors. It's a wonderful event and my Christmas spirit doesn't begin until I attend your festival.
Nice to preserve our cultural heritage. We really enjoyed the train room
We absolutely love it! It's been a family tradition to go to the German Christmas market at the Toronto International Centre since I was a small child back in the 70's and 80's. Now I have children of my own and we have been coming to the Kitchener Christkindl Market for the past 10 years. We stay at a nearby bed and breakfast go to the farmers market and then the Chirstkindl. It's a beautiful weekend that we look forward to all year long. I love the whole German feel. My mother was German from Darmstadt. We grew up speaking German with all the German customs and festivities. Christmas and Nikolaus Tag were our favourites. Your Christkindl still captures that traditional German feel with the products, food, childrens/adult choir and German people. The smell of the the roasted beer nuts, bratwurst, goulash soup, saurkraut, potato pancakes and blacksmith fire in the crisp, cold winter air creates a feeling in me that I cannot explain. It really makes me and my family feel wonderful and happy. With all the craziness in today's world, it's so good to know we can disappear for a weekend in the warmth and nostalgia of the Christkindl.
It is awesome! This reminds me of all of the traditional Christmas markets I saw in Germany. I loved the markets in Germany and miss them a great deal, how nice it is to relive a bit of the atmosphere here in Kitchener.
Great Job - Christkindl Market! Saves us a trip to Germany!
Wonderful Tradition!
Our family has been coming to the Christkindl Market in Kitchener for five years now. We absolutely love it there. The sights, sounds and smells really put us in the Christmas spirit. This has become a very cherished part of our Christmas traditions. Three generations of our family take part in it. What a special time is had by all. Thanks for the memories...already looking forward to next year.
Love it-part of my yearly Christmas tradition!
As we entered the building, we saw so many beautiful Angels, and so many beautiful ornaments, so unique to this event that you couldn't buy them anywhere else. What a memory. My daughter and I attend this event each and every year. It's like our own tradition, just for the 2 of us. It's a night out together to bond, celebrate the holidays and of course to look for that very special Christmas ornament for this year.
Wonderful! My husband is German- was like home for him! Visiting is becoming a yearly tradition! Thanks!
Love it. Traditional December event we all look forward to at our house. Thanks!
Kindling the Christmas Spirit -I remember the first year of the Market about 10 years ago. Snow falling gently, beautiful German music playing outside, high quality Christmas goods for purchase from friendly vendors, hot-mulled cider, the nativity scene, the skaters - what atmosphere!!! The magic has hooked me ever since. So much different from the mall! Thanks for kindling the Christmas spirit.
It brings back memories of Germany during the Christmas season!
Every year the City Hall in Kitchener transforms into a German style Christmas Market complete with food, carollers, ice skating and lots more. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the event and it did not disappoint. City Hall was decked out with vendors, food, Christmas decorations and entertainment to convince even the meanest Grinch that this truly is the best time of the year. WONDERS OF WINTER
Ich war nur mal zu einem Christkindl Markt. Das war circa 1975 in Pforzheim im Schwarzen Wald. Ich kann mich noch nach all diesen Jahren an die wunderbaren Lichter und Aromas, so wie all die schoene Musik und die Weihnachts Stimmung, ganz gut erinnern, als wenn es gestern war. Vielen Dank dass Sie diese herrliche Tradition aus Deutschland herueber gebracht haben. Ich wuenschte wir koennten jaehrlich kommen um den Christkindl Markt zu besuchen.
Thank you all for making this German Christmas festival a reality so that we can enjoy the Christmas season and make many special memories for ourselves and more importantly for our children. To another 100 years of Christkindl Market, Kitchener! Frohe Weihnachten
I took my daughter for the first time 5 years ago and what a special event this was for both of us. We visited the manger live nativity scene, it was beautiful. We listened to the Christmas music, I can't believe how just humming a little Christmas song can put you in such good spirits with yourself and others. Christmas is the one time of the year that people actually look at others and smile, wishing them the very best. It's a shame we can't be like this throughout the year.
It is well organized
"I will be there again on the Saturday to enjoy my childhood memories all over again, not to forget the food and smells of this special time."
I will be there again to enjoy my childhood memories all over again, not to forget the food and smells of this special time.
Nice! I just moved back from living in Europe for 9 years, this was so nice!
Thank you, for bringing to our community the Christkindl Market, an event that has rekindled in the hearts of so many, the wonder and joy, the excitement and awe of those memorable Christkindl Markets in Germany so many years ago. Thanks for your vision, your dream and your spirit. You make it possible for people of another age, a new generation, and varied cultures to enjoy the magic. Our hearts quicken at the sound of the fanfare at the opening ceremony and our eyes grow misty to the sweet sound of the music and song that fills the winter air...
My mom has taken my brother and I to the Christkindl Market ever since it first opened. We felt surrounded by love and happiness and enjoyed being around the German community - especially because we could not be with our family in Germany at Christmas. I still remember and still feel the warm feelings I first felt when I visit the Christkindl Market. I always make sure I attend each year with my Mom and now take my daughter along as well. I hope she too will be able to attend for years to come and in the future, bring her children as well.
Ich Liebe Christkindl Markt
Vielen Dank dass Sie diese herrliche Tradition aus Deutschland herueber gebracht haben. Ich wuenschte wir koennten jaehrlich kommen um den Christkindl Markt zu besuchen.
...we'd like to see all of the vendors. It's a wonderful event and my Christmas spirit doesn't begin until I attend your festival.
If you can't be at a Christmas Market in Germany, the Christkindl Market in Oktoberfest City (Kitchener, Ontario), is the closest it can get. They even have real, hot mulled wine, a staple at every German Weihnachtsmarkt. For us, visiting the market in Kitchener was a few hours back home away from home. Very nice!
Wonderful - An annual event for myself!
My two-year-old son, was in total rapture as he looked upon a display of moving toys. A lady was watching my son's dreamy state. This kind-hearted lady said she wanted to buy it for my little guy, and that she was going to be thinking about him on Christmas morning as he unwraps his gift from her. I want her to know Santa does not have to be in a red suit with bells on and a beard. He could also be a she, a kind and special lady.
Herrliche Tradition aus Deutschland - Ich war nur mal zu einem Christkindl Markt. Das war circa 1975 in Pforzheim im Schwarzen Wald. Ich kann mich noch nach all diesen Jahren an die wunderbaren Lichter und Aromas, so wie all die schoene Musik und die Weihnachts Stimmung, ganz gut erinnern, als wenn es gestern war.
Love the Market! It's my first time here and it's been awesome! Thank you!
My husband's family is German and up until we visited the Christkindl Market a few years ago I only had stories and some samplings of the different Christmas foods from Germany from his family. Until we visited your wonderful market I never really understood the fascination my husband has always had for German Christmas. Since that first visit my husband starts planning our next visit in October! He wouldn't miss it for the world and I have come to appreciate his heritage even more through experiencing this bit of Germany in Canada! Every year we bring our teenagers and invite our friends. Thank you for all your hard work - Christmas isn't Christmas for us now without the Christkindl Market!

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