History of Christkindl

A Christmas market, also known as Christkindlmarkt, is a street market associated with the celebration of Christmas during advent. The history of Christmas markets goes back to the Late Middle Ages in the German speaking part of Europe where markets called Nikolausdult were held. At these markets, farmers came to town to shop and offer their wares. The oldest recorded market dates to 1310 in Munich, Germany. These early markets were usually held in front of churches and were looked at as part of a church visit.

 

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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. Now mostly held on a town square throughout Germany and many other cities throughout the world, Christkindl markets sell food, drink and seasonal items from open-air stalls.  Entertainment includes traditional singing and dancing.

The Christkindl Angel tradition started in Nuremberg in 1933. Built on the local tradition of producing tinsel angels, the market had a young girl in an angel costume open the city’s Christmas Market for the first time. The crowned, golden-haired girl, known as the Christkindl Fairy is still the symbol of Christkindl markets today.

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