Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Christkind of Christmas

The Christ is one in particular in Austria, Switzerland, in Catholic regions of Germany and in the region around Nuremberg widespread symbol of Christmas. Adults tell children that Christmas is the Christ and secretly brings the Christmas gifts.

It is often described as fair-haired baby with wings and halo shown. Colloquially, the Christ child frequently with the Christ Child, the presentation of the newborn Christ, confused.


The relationship between Christ and Santa Claus as the bringer of gifts is complex and contradictory developed: a development line goes from St. Nicholas to Santa Claus, the other from Christ to Santa Claus.

In medieval times the children on St. Nicholas (December 6) or were presented on the day of the Innocents (Dec 28), and the presents on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day, as is common today did not exist back then. The Protestants, however, rejected the Roman Catholic form of worship of saints - and with it the worship of Saint Nicholas - from.

Therefore replaced with a high probability of Martin Luther in the 16th Century by the Nicholas the "Holy Christ" and moved the bestowal of gifts on the 25th December. Elsewhere, as in Switzerland, the mess was reformed into the 19th Century on New Year's Day instead.

"Holy Christ" was meant Jesus Christ, but not in the personification of the newborn Christ child. Over the years, developed the name "Christ" and the idea as angelic appearance . The Christ visibly became independent, and the connection to Jesus Christ was always clear.

The Reformed Switzerland was it - according to here (earlier) Bescherungstag valid - as well as the New Year's baby The angel-view has its origin probably in Christmas parade traditions, nativity play, which was often a host of angels from a "Christ-led."

The Christ spread first in Protestant Germany. Later, the custom spread to the Rhineland, from then, together with Advent wreath and Christmas tree to Bavaria and Austria.

This trend line has been crossed, however, ran counter to two: one hand was the Christ in North replaced and in parts of central Germany to the Protestants more and more from Santa Claus, the other repressed the Christ in Switzerland, more and more previously here both "Catholic" as well as "Protestant "Nicholas (Chlaus).

It was not only in the Catholic but also in parts of Switzerland in the 18th reformed and 19 Century rather than the "Lutheran" or "Catholic" Christmas, but the Chlaus (that Nicholas), brought in the days around Christmas or New Year's Eve at the gifts.

Even at the end of the 19th Century, in the Christ Reformed Switzerland in some places as "Catholic" or perceived as an import from the Catholic south of Germany. In the 20th Century, however, Nicholas was ousted again by Christmas.

Thus we find today the situation that the Christ is now mainly one part in a majority Catholic areas such as Austria, Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg, the other is common but also in the neighboring both Catholic and Protestant Switzerland.

Since the mid-20th Century, is increasingly beside the Christ Child and Santa Claus, Santa Claus in film, television and the Christmas decorations found, probably mainly due to increasing U.S. influence.

The role of the bringer of gifts is in the predominantly Catholic areas of the German-speaking, however, still largely attributed to the Christ, only in the predominantly Protestant religious affiliation and areas to the east and north of Germany is the bringer of Christmas.

Today's importance

The Christ is today, like Santa Claus or St. Nicholas, a symbol of Christmas giving. Traditionally, children write a letter to Santa Claus before Christmas, in which they list their wishes. Adults tell their children that it will generally unseen on Christmas Eve or in some regions on the night of 25th December in the homes comes and brings the Christmas gifts.

Formerly an angelic Christ often-actress came to the mess in the family and in some places, this custom still exists. In recent years, the Christ more and more used for advertising purposes, most often as a girl with blond hair and blue eyes.

Post to the Christ child

Many children send letters with the pre-Christmas wishes to the Christ. These are, especially in the Austrian city's symbol, set up in extra Christmas post offices collected since 1950 and usually answered.

This post office is open each year and provides the letters that are sent on a special stamp. Per year will receive about 2 million items this special stamp. Even after Engelskirchen many letters are sent to the Christ Child. In winter 2008 the town received around 135,000 entries from 54 nations.

In Switzerland, the Swiss Post answered in the context of "Operation Christmas" every year about 17,000 children letters which were sent to the Christ Child or Father Christmas.

Christmas Angel

are the occasion of the Nuremberg Christmas market, since 1933 an annual Christmas Angel, played by actors to 1968. Since 1969 every two years a young woman from the city, at least sixteen years old must be elected to the Christ Child. In this suit opened the Christmas market in the city and then travels through Franconia to visit Advent and Christmas events.

In the Nuremberg costume presentation is the Christ, a young woman with haired hair, a crown and a white-golden angelic dress. The Nuremberg Christmas Angel opens up the Christmas market in Chicago.


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