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Christkindlmarkt's USA - Christmas Markets...

A wonderful (pre-Christmas) holiday tradition that typically takes place outdoors in the frigid cold weather throughout Germany is the open-air Christmas Market known as Christkindlmarkt which actually translates to Christ childs market.

Once known as a simple Winter Market that started back in Germany during the 14th century with a few booths and stalls selling mostly regional foods of the season, these fairs started offering numerous "other" Christmas time goodies like candies, pastries, religious items, toys and trinkets and eventually evolved into a beloved pastime!

Today Christmas Markets, recognized by name as Christkindlmarkt, Christkindlmart, Christkindelmarkt, Christkindelsmarkt, Adventmarkt or Weihnachtsmarkt are offered in several cities throughout Germany and are also becoming quite popular in cities across the USA too!

The Christkindlmarkt of today is very inviting as vendors typically set-up shop outdoors near a scenic backdrop of historical buildings in a town square (platz) within an impressive maze of small colorful tents and/or make shift timber-lined shacks all festively decorated with Christmas lights and seasonal offerings. It's at night fall that all these illuminated booths, walkways and streets come alive with throngs of visitors and tourist all seemingly in a merryfest mood.

It actually turns out that visitors to a Christmas Market really are Merry because there's no way for anyone to escape this excitement!

The Christmas spirit hits you hard going to a Christkindlmarkt as you stroll around booth to booth listening to the sounds of Christmas music and Christmas caroling that seems to be everywhere!

The aroma in the air catches your attention too from warm drinks being offered like warm spiced cider, hot chocolate, coffee and the visitor favorite, "Glühwein" or "Glow Wine" is a red wine & spice(s) concoction also known as Glühmost or Punsch which is simply a mulled or spiced wine served warm. Other beverages, such as Weihnachtsbier (Christmas Beer) is also a seasonal favorite.

Listen to the jingle bells as children can visit Santa Claus, St Nick or Kris Kringle at his very own workshop haus if the elves permit it.

There are some Christmas Markets that showcase a small petting zoo with deer and ponies and some Christkindlmarkt's even offer the old-fashioned carousel rides and game booths too!

Smell that? I'm not talking just that cotton candy smell but the toasted almonds and hey wait a minute... are those really chestnuts roasting on an open fire? So that's where that lyric came from.

 

 

At a Christmas Market one can experience the funside essence of the Christmas season as it turns out to be the most perfect place to hob-knob and shop for unique Christmas gifts or souvenirs around for all things handmade like wooden toys, Bavarian wood carvings and a variety of specialized sculpted seasonal decorations.

You can shop for imported dolls, ornaments, pottery, crystal ware, custom seasonal wreaths, candles and ornaments plus you can even pick out a Christmas tree! Of course there's an array of traditional Christmas trinkets, knick-knacks, jewelry and imported collectibles not to mention the hundreds of nativity scenes, steins, nutcrackers, German pyramids, advent calendars, gingerbread houses and cuckoo clocks ... but certainly the masses come to Christkindlmarkt for the different variety of German food!

Some typical food favorites at Christkindlmarkt one can enjoy are:

  • Stollen – or Christstollen sometimes referred to as fruitcake is a traditional German Christmas bread with dried fruits, nuts, spices, and sugar icing. There are different varieties.
  • Aachener Printen – a delicate, but delicious Christmas cookie with protected designation of origin from Aachen, Germany.
  • Nürnberger Rostbratwürste - small "charcoal-grilled" sausages a favorite from Nürnberg, Germany.
  • Spekulatius - are spicy pastry dough cookies prepared from mostly cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg although it exist in different forms too including almond, butter, and chocolate.
  • Lebkuchen - or Pfefferkuchen (pepper cake) are gingerbread seasoned biscuits
  • Bratäpfel - baked spiced apples
  • Gebrannte Mandeln – roasted almonds
  • Maronen – roasted chestnuts (on an open fire)
  • Marzipanbrot – is made from almonds, sugar and rosewater that is iced or dipped in chocolate. It is typically shaped like a loaf of bread or the alternative Marzipankartoffeln which has a spherical shape.
  • Plätzchen - variety of delicately prepared Christmas cookies

Of course you will have several pastries, cakes, and bread options from which to choose from but many people enjoy the experience in purchasing a taditional bratwurst, baked potatoe, fish or sausage on a stick grilled on an open-pit Schwenker. Very cool!

The tradition of German Christmas Markets are alive and thriving these days worldwide! In most locations they usually open in the last week of November and close down for the season right after Christmas Eve on December 24th.

Keep checking for a Christkindlmarkt coming near you or if you know of a new one or one that we missed posting... let us know on the form below and be certain to include any photos and videos too!

 Froehliche Weihnachten!
( Merry Christmas! )

 

 

 Christkindlmarkt's USA - Travel Destinations...

 

LISTINGS STATE BY STATE - all across GermanNationUSA... 

 

ALABAMA
 

ALASKA
                                          

ARIZONA

 

ARKANSAS 

 

CALIFORNIA 

 

COLORADO 

 

CONNETICUT 

 

DELAWARE 

 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 

 

FLORIDA

 

GEORGIA

 

HAWAII

 

IDAHO 

 

INDIANA 

 

IOWA 

 

KANSAS

 

KENTUCKY 

 

LOUISIANA 

 

MAINE 

 

MARYLAND 

 

MASSACHUSETTS 

 

MICHIGAN 

 

MINNESOTA 

 

MISSISSIPPI 

 

MISSOURI  

 

MONTANA 

 

NEBRASKA 

 

NEVADA 

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE 

 

NEW JERSEY 

 

NEW MEXICO 

 

NEW YORK 

 

NORTH CAROLINA 

 

NORTH DAKOTA 

 

OKLAHOMA 

 

OHIO 

 

OREGON 

 

PENNSYLVANIA 

 

RHODE ISLAND 

 

SOUTH CAROLINA 

 

SOUTH DAKOTA 

 

TENNESSEE 

 

TEXAS 

 

UTAH 

 

VERMONT 

 

VIRGINIA 

 

WASHINGTON 

 

WEST VIRGINIA 

 

WISCONSIN 

 

WYOMING 

 

CANADA 

 

 

   Christkindlmarkt's GERMANY - Travel Destinations...

 

 

Berlin, Germany

Cologne, Germany

Nürnberg, Germany

Jena, Germany