History of German Christmas Markets

Nuremberg Christkindlmarket
The history of Christmas markets in Germany roots in the late Middle Ages. One of the most famous ones and also one of the oldest ones is held each year in Nuremberg in the state of Bavaria. It has been passed down from generation to generation that the farmers of the Nuremberg area started selling their crops in a farmers market during the Advent time in the mid 16th century. Out of this farmers market the world know Nuremberg Christkindlmarket developed. For more information on the History of the Nuremberg Christmas market please click here

Christmas Village in Philadelphia is modeled after the traditional German Christmas Markets. The most famous of which, is the Christkindlmarket in Nuremberg, Germany. The goods presented in timber booths include a rich variety of food and holiday items. At the market, you will find Christmas ornaments, arts and crafts, toys, sweets, and hot food and drinks. This is an event at which people can stroll around, meet friends, and enjoy live performances of Christmas music.


History of the German Christkind

Nuremberg Christkind

Since 1969 and every other year thereafter, the Nuremberg Christkind is selected to represent the spirit of Christmas in Germany. She wears a long white dress with golden stars, a golden crown, and has long blonde curls. She is the German equivalent to the American children's Santa Claus.

Each year, the Christkind recites a prologue to open the Nuremberg Christmas Market. The Christkind also makes appearances at over 150 charitable institutions. She brings joy to those in nursing homes, hospitals, and kindergartens. However, the Christkind isn't restricted to just Nuremberg. She has made appearances in other cities, including Chicago and Philadelphia.

It has become a tradition that the original Christkind from Nuremberg opens the Christmas Village in Philadelphia with her world famous prologue. The opening ceremony will be held on Nov 26th in 2016.

The Prologue

The prologue, which the Christkind uses to open the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarket each year, was created by the Nuremberg poet Friedrich Bröger in 1948. Though the wording has slightly been changed in the last decades, the opening ceremony has been given in the same style every year since.

The Prologue

Der Prolog

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, people of all ages each of you who rests today but works again tomorrow. Everyone enjoy the night and forget about your sorrow and listen here, to what the Christkind has to say!

Ihr Herrn und Frau'n, die ihr einst Kinder wart, ihr Kleinen, am Beginn der Lebensfahrt. Ein jeder, der sich heute freut und morgen wieder plagt: Hört alle zu, was Euch das Christkind sagt!

Every year, during the season we decorate the tree and remember the reason to meet on this plaza, as in years past to cherish the tradition brought from Nuremberg to last.

In jedem Jahr, vier Wochen vor der Zeit, da man den Christbaum schmückt und sich aufs Feiern freut, ersteht auf diesem Platz, der Ahn hat´s schon gekannt, was Ihr hier seht, Christkindlesmarkt genannt.

Christkindlmarket - This little town of wooden huts which brings along lovely smells of gingerbread and roasted nuts the lights will shortly fade away, but the glow is always here to stay as long as Philadelphia does exist, as long as you remember it.

Dies Städtlein in der Stadt, aus Holz und Tuch gemacht, so flüchtig, wie es scheint, in seiner kurzen Pracht, ist doch von Ewigkeit. Mein Markt bleibt immer jung, solang es Philadelphia gibt und die Erinnerung.

Look at the sight of this Old Town: High buildings rise - fortresses of modern times, look at this plaza - the many faces and in them shines: Philadelphia of the people.

Denn alt und jung zugleich ist Philadelphias Angesicht, das viele Züge trägt. Ihr zählt sie alle nicht! Da ist der edle Platz. Doch ihm sind zugesellt Hochhäuser dieses Tags, Fabriken dieser Welt. Die neue Stadt im Grün. Und doch bleibt´s alle Zeit. Ihr Herrn und Frau´n: das Philadelphia, das Ihr seid.

The last month of the year has come and thus the night when wishes are fulfilled and joy in sight. The market's lights shine brightly to illuminate the way where families gather from near and far away but one last thing - please keep in mind: It's those in need who tell what it means to be kind.

Am Saum des Jahres steht nun bald der Tag, an dem man selbst sich wünschen und andern schenken mag. Doch leuchtet der Markt im Licht weit und breit, Schmuck, Kugeln und seelige Weihnachtszeit, dann vergesst nicht, Ihr Herrn und Frau´n und bedenkt, wer alles schon hat, der braucht nichts geschenkt. Die Kinder der Welt und die armen Leut, die wissen am besten, was Schenken bedeut´t.

You men and women, who once yourselves were children, be them again today, happy as children be, and now the Christ Child to its market calls, and all who come are truly welcome.

Ihr Herrn und Frau´n, die Ihr einst Kinder wart, seid es heut´ wieder, freut Euch in ihrer Art. Das Christkind lädt zu seinem Markte ein, und wer da kommt, der soll willkommen sein.

Nov 19th - 20th &
Nov 24th - Dec 24th 2016
City Hall Philadelphia

1400 JFK Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Sun. - Thur. 11am - 7pm
Fri. - Sat. 11am - 8pm
Holiday Hours

Free Admission!
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