Translated as “Christ Child Market,” Christkindlmarkt is a German holiday market that stretches back to Saxony, Germany during the Middle Ages. For centuries, the market has gone across the globe, spreading Christmas joy to the citizens of countless cities and towns. To this day, millions of people come together and celebrate this age-old tradition.
CEO and Market Master of Carmel Christkindlmarkt Maria Murphy was able to go into detail in discussing the process of how Christkindlmarkt made its way to Carmel with the help of Mayor Jim Brainard.
“He brought together a committee some time ago to try to bring one here and this past year he was able to get an ice skating bond approved and within that bond he included the infrastructure around the Christkindlmarkt huts,” Murphy explained in an email. “He wants to bring amenities to the city that will continue to allow people to enjoy Carmel as their home and a place to visit.”
Board member Martin Baier provides a bit of insight into the significance of the market and what it means to the people of Indiana, whose population includes citizens of German descent.
“We know that it’s of high interest for people to have a place like this to go and celebrate those traditions that came over here to the United States from immigrants from Europe, especially here in our state of Indiana,” Baier explained. “We have the interests because it is said that about 30% of the population here in Indiana have German roots.”
Christkindlmarkt has been renowned for its vast diversity of Christmas décor, gifts, and cuisine. People can expect to see of slew of gifts, crafts, treats and novelties. Baier explains how the market can be a place of gathering for people.
“It’s a place where people gather and where you can buy Christmas ornaments, Christmas cookies, and certain types of handmade presents,” Baier exclaimed. “It’s just a nice atmosphere. It’s like a market atmosphere where you go from hut to hut, from vendor to vendor and find something that you can either buy as a present that you take and use it for Christmas time or you eat right there some certain foods that are popular in winter time and around Christmas time…”
Murphy shared similar sentiments to Baier in terms of the number of Christmas memorabilia available at the market.
“These markets feature a delightful blend of holiday food, drinks, gifts and decorations,” Murphy said. “Various regions of Germany became well-known for their hand-crafted Christmas decorations, wood-working, artwork, or textiles.”
But the market won’t simply be a place where people shop for items and that’s it. Murphy makes it clear that there’s a lot more to witness at the market than just shopping.
“On the Grand Opening weekend, we will have a German woodworker doing demonstrations,” Murphy said. “We will have Alphorn players coming in from across the country to play and the owner of the German nutcracker company, Steinbach, will be present to help us celebrate the momentous occasion! In addition, the president of the Indiana German Heritage Society will be joining us for the Grand Opening to make a few remarks regarding the history of German heritage in Indiana.”
The Christkindlmarkt is one of the oldest traditions in Germanic culture. It has resonated with the public and touched the hearts of generations of Christmas lovers for hundreds of years and it doesn’t seem it will disappear any time soon. Murphy expressed her admiration and love for the market and German culture as a whole and why everyone should have the chance to witness it firsthand.
“I lived a year in Germany and grew very close to my host family and friends in Germany,” Murphy exclaimed. “I have a deep appreciation for German culture and I am very excited to share that with all the visitors from far and wide who will come to the market.”
The Carmel Christkindlmarkt will be open for the holidays starting Saturday November 18 and stretching all the way to December 24.
For more information on visiting hours and events at the market, visit https://www.carmelchristkindlmarkt.com/.