Rick Steves’ European Christmas Extra: Bavaria’s Christkind

Rick Steves’ European Christmas Extra: Bavaria’s Christkind


Thank you for joining us. Fröhliche Weihnachten. Fröhliche Weihnachten. So, we all know about St. Nicholas, but in Nürnberg, it’s Christkind, “Christ child.” What happened to Saint Nicholas? In former times, in times of Martin Luther – he was the reformator – he didn’t like the Catholic St. Nicholas, and so he introduced the Christkind as the bringer of presents for children on Christmas Eve. It was the 6th of December in former times when St. Nicholas came to the children, and since Martin Luther introduced the Christkind as a Protestant figure, the Christkind brings the presents. On the 25th? No, on the 24th. 24th, okay. But Christkind, “Christ child,” is a girl. Why’s that? We make a difference between Christkind – it’s like a Christmas fairy – and Christlskind. Christlskind is “Christchild,” and that’s Jesus. The figure of the Christkind has its origins in the Rauschgoldengel, it’s an angel. It’s the the symbol figure of the market, of our Christkindlesmarkt in Nürnberg. So Martin Luther wanted the baby
Jesus to give the gifts, but he, Jesus, let the angel help. Yeah, that’s partly true, partly true. He wanted to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and so it’s on Christmas Eve – the present-bringing. And it should be a party for Jesus. So tell me how you became the Christkind of Nürnberg. I wrote a letter to the government, to our city, and they had a lot of
letters. You had to write why you want to become Christkind, and they chose 12 girls, and they were published in the newspaper and on the Internet. And then the citizens were allowed to vote, and the six girls with the most votes were invited in front of a jury. They nominated me for the Christkind. What’s the most fun thing about being Christkind? It’s always very funny with children, of course. They are very sweet and ask a lot of strange questions. Once they asked me, “Christkind, when do you become a baby with Nicholas?” [laughter] Oh, when you will have a baby with St. Nicholas? Yeah, yeah. Ah. What’s the most difficult thing about being Christkind? The most difficult part? Also with children, because they have illusions, and they really believe that I’m the Christkind. And so they always ask me if I can fly, and about the angels, and what does heaven look like, and who is God? A lot of questions, and you can destroy these illusions, so you have to be very careful what you answer to these questions. So, it’s difficult. Do you have any childhood memories of the Christkind? Yeah, a lot, a lot. Every year, at the Christkindlesmarkt, we have an opening. And at the opening, the Christkind talks to the people. I did this, this year and last year. You
stand on top of a church, and you talk to all the people down in the market, and I always believed that it was the real Christkind, of course. It was for me, ah, I can’t explain this. This was a feeling, just great. And you thought maybe you could do that someday? Not when you were little. No, of course not, because it was the real Christkind. And then, it was the horrible day as my parents told me that it’s just a girl. And on this day, I had already said that I want to be the
Christkind one day. Thank you very much, and Merry
Christmas. Thank you, too. Merry Christmas to you. Oh, thank you. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas.

7 thoughts on “Rick Steves’ European Christmas Extra: Bavaria’s Christkind

  1. In Nรผrnberg, famous for its best-in-Germany Christmas market, the Rick Stevesโ€™ European Christmas crew got to film the angelic Christkind:ย http://blog.ricksteves.com/blog/rick-steves-european-christmas-a-rare-and-intimate-conversation-with-bavarias-christkind/

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