There are a lot of great reasons to visit the Mifflinburg Christkindl Market, but here are some highlights that visitors enjoy each year.
St. Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first Nativity scene in 1223 at Greccio, Italy, in an attempt to place the emphasis of Christmas upon the worship of Christ rather than upon secular materialism and gift giving. The Mifflinburg Christkindl Market features a live Nativity scene that can be found just past the main entrace on the Lutheran Church grounds. Volunteers from church organizations, and others, along with a display of animals, enhance the live Nativity scene. The facade of the church in the background only adds to welcome each visitor with its picturesque view.
Cookies, strudel, candy apples, German roasted nuts, and a dozen other delicacies are available to visitors each year. These sweet treats are definitely worth investigating.
The Bratwurst, Knockwurst, and pork schnitzel are all delicious, but certainly not alone when it comes to the wonderful foods available at the Mifflinburg Christkindl Market. The smell of each, along with Hungarian goulash and schnitz un knepp, hangs so heavy in the cold winter air that you can almost taste it.
Glass ornaments are great, but where else can you actually watch them being hand-blown and painted in the traditional German style than at a Christkindl market? You can also watch craftsman create both spun trees (Spanbäume) and turned trees (Kräuselbäume). Or if you prefer something else, Christmas pyramids (Weihnachtspyramide), candle arches (Shwibbögen), nutcrackers (Nussknackern), and Inge-Glas ornaments are all available for purchase within the Market.
What would a Christkindl Market be without Glühwein!? This aromatic, warming, spiced-wine has heralded and fulfilled pleasures of the holiday season for hundreds of years. Glühwein is a German Christmas essential. Mulled, never boiled, Glühwein is available for sale at the Christkindl Pub along with or without a commemorate Christkindl mug. Several vendors also sell Glühwein in bottles for visitors to enjoy at home.
The Prune Men
People have been collecitng Zwetschgenmännla (prune men) for nearly 600 years. These funny little guys originated in Nuremberg and have become a treasured item at Christkindl markets all over the world. Visitors are
welcomed to watch Sarah Miller, a local artist and our resident Zwetschgenmännla designer, create prune figures that can range from typisch Deutsch to wholly unique to the Mifflinburg Christkindl Market.
This family event has lots of fun for children. A Lantern Parade, crafts for children and pictures with Santa on Friday evening keep the children busy. Children can visit Elf School, hear the stories of Firliputzli the German Angel and the Bremen Town Musicians. Next door are puppet shows and there is a scavenger hunt for children. Don’t forget to see the peek-a-boo doll House with a doll’s tea party and the gingerbread house where Mama Gingerbread and the children are baking cookies. And it wouldn’t be a Christkindl visit without purchasing a Dample Dei sweetbread man.
The Cancellation Stamp
The tradition of mailing Christmas cards with a special postal cancellation stamp began in Austria in 1695. That tradition continues today at the Mifflinburg Christkindl Market. Mail deposited in the traditional style European post will be hand-cancelled by the Mifflinburg Post Office with the annual Christkindl cancellation image. The tradition adds special meaning to the Market and to the cards mailed from it.
In Germany lantern parades are held on November 11, the date of the martyrdom of Roman-soldier-turned monk, Saint Martin. Saint Martin was a compassionate man who led a quiet and simple life and is said to have cut his cape in half and shared it with a cold beggar suffering in a snowstorm. German children often make their own lanterns to celebrate St. Martin's Day, illuminating them with candles or battery lights and march through the streets singing the song Lantern, Lantern. Second grade students in Mifflinburg learn this song in German and sing it while parading through the Christkindl Market each year.
Continuous indoor and outdoor entertainment keeps our Market guests busy. The zither, the dulcimer, choral concerts, fascinating talks about Germany and collecting old glass Christmas ornaments, as well as the Christkindl Cinema all give guests an opportunity to warm up indoors. The outdoor stage is continually occupied with small ensemble concerts, international dancers, German band music, and demonstrations. Kinder World is always available for the children. The wandering musical Christmas tree, Hilby the Skinny German Juggle Boy, the Kurrende Singers and this year’s theme, the Bremen Town Musicians along with St. Nicholas and Santa Claus provide a busy schedule for guests.