The History of the German Christkindlmarkts

by Gregory Burton

It’s almost that time of year to bundle up, grab the kids, and enjoy the magic of Christmas markets. But did you know that these holiday markets that we’ve all come to love first originated in Germany? In fact, the very first one dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. Today, for instance, the Carmel Christkindlmarkt in Indiana celebrates the history and traditions by bringing the charm and beauty of Germany right here to our quaint community. Let’s learn more about the legacy of this timeless tradition.

The First Christmas Markets

Traditional Christmas markets in Germany are known as Christkindlmarkts, which translates to “Christ child market.” These typically signalled the beginning of Advent. Some of the first markets date back to the 1300s when emperors permitted shopkeepers to organize these winter markets to allow townspeople to stock up on goods to get them through the long months of the season ahead.  

Christmas Markets Across Europe

Over time, as these winter markets started to emerge each year, townspeople and families began to embrace the tradition by setting up stalls filled with handmade clocks, figurines, gingerbread, local produce, bratwurst and more. They became a joyful celebration that brought a touch of light to local communities before the harsh cold weather settled in. Over the centuries, these markets spread across different towns throughout Germany and eventually made their way to Europe. 

Christmas Markets Today

Thanks to the warmth and joy of this German tradition, millions of people travel to experience these markets in Germany today. But of course, people around the world get to enjoy the wonders of Christmas markets too, spanning across Canada, the U.K, and the U.S. Visitors can indulge in many of the similar staples that were – and still are – renowned in Germany, including hot mulled wine (a favourite German beverage), handmade goods, gifts, textiles and much more. 

Carmel Christkindlmarkt in Indiana

If you live in Indiana, you can experience the old-world charm of the Christmas season at the Carmel Christkindlmarkt. This annual market is packed full of beautiful handmade holiday goods and fun events that the whole family will love. As we were unable to enjoy this celebration last year, this year is set to be extraordinary, with plenty of booths for you to explore. 

Snag Authentic German Clocks and Souvenirs 

This holiday season, the Frankenmuth Clock Company will have 12 different booths in the Christkindlmarkt, and we’ll be onsite right up to Christmas Eve! You’ll find authentic, hard carved cuckoo clocks and other German souvenirs that are imported straight from the legendary Black Forest region in Germany.

Come on by and get your shopping done while enjoying the holiday spirit. Or, if you have any questions about the market or our available products, get in touch with us today!