The Christkind, Kristkind or "Christ Child" is the traditional Christmas giftbringer in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Christkindl is a diminuitive version of the Christkind. Our Christkindl (pronounced krisst-kindl), is depicted with long curly blond hair and a golden crown. She is accompanied by her 2 angels.
Knecht Ruprecht (or farmhand Ruprecht), has his origin in Germany and is a companion of Saint Nicholas (or Father Christmas). He seems to know if you've been bad or good. Knecht Ruprecht carries with him a bundle of switches and a sack filled with candies (for those who have been good).
A group of children have just completed building birdhouses in the Saturday afternoon workshop up on the second floor. They are telling Knecht Ruprecht all about it.
Experience the unique sounds of Klaus' original hand-cranked street organ. Ask him about the origin which goes back to the eighteenth century. Have your picture taken with him and his friendly (stuffed) monkey.
Thursday, December, 06, 2012, Exerpt from Kitchener Post - De Boer’s treasures - By John De Boer
Every December since 2000, organ grinder Klaus Wehrenberg has been cranking out melodies and entertaining crowds at Christkindl Market at Kitchener City Hall. He was born in Germany, where itinerant street musicians would use trained monkeys to do tricks and solicit payments with a tin cup. Klaus uses a monkey puppet called Ovambo instead and a hat for tips. When he cranks the organ, bellows pump air through holes in reinforced music paper stored on spools. As the spool unwinds, air pressure flows through the holes in the paper, triggering music from the wooden pipes of the organ. His motivation for entertaining is simple: “My music brings joys and smiles to the faces of people.”
On Thursday evening our candlelight procession is led by Mary, Joseph and their stalwart donkey, through the snowy canopy of Victoria Park, and along Gaukel Street to Kitchener's City Hall Square. Along the way the Grand Philharmonic Choir and many carollers are accompanied by the ringing of church bells. If you listen closely you can even hear some people singing the German verses as well.
Since 1997, members of the community reenact the Nativity and the scene at the stable at the birth of Christ. Children enjoy experiencing the Christmas story, meeting Mary and Joseph and maybe even petting the donkey. The outdoor stable of hay and straw remain on City Hall Square throughout the event and volunteers take care of the animals each night making sure that they get water, food and rest.