Christkind, is a German Christmas figure adorned with golden hair, angel wings, and a crown. She is the traditional Christmas gift-bringer in multiple European countries. Christkind was created in the 16th century by Protestant Martin Luther. He had become increasingly frustrated with the Catholic Church’s idolization of saints, as he thought that only Jesus Christ should be a prominent figure. His intention was to shift the gift giving tradition from St. Nicholas’s Day (December 6), to Christmas Eve. The Christkind was originally modeled after the infant Christ. Lutheran families quickly adopted the tradition. It spread to the German Catholic Church during the 19th century.
Throughout the years, the Christkind developed feminine features due to being featured in Christmas plays, and morphed into its current form as the tradition spread throughout Europe. She remains a Christ-like figure with gold wings and crown meant to represent the Angel Gabriel.
In a German household, the children never saw Christkind like we would visit Santa today. Sometimes her arrival would be announced with the ringing of a bell, and a knock on the door. Other families thought of Christkind accompanying Father Christmas on his route. Christkind is now part of Christkindlmarkt festivals all around the world.
Christkind opens Excelsior Christkindlsmarkt Friday morning with a proclamation: