For many decades the Nuremberg Christkind has been the symbolic figure for the Nuremberg Christmas Market (Christkindlesmarkt) and has been almost as famous as the market world-wide. During Advent, the Nuremberg Christkind, with her golden curls (thanks to a lavish wig), with a crown on her head and wearing a golden robe, is the most important representative of her city and of the traditional Christmas Market.
Nuremberg's Christkind officially opens the Christmas Market with her prologue on the Friday before the first Sunday in Advent. Her further tasks include appearances on the Christmas Market and on the Children's Christmas Market in the weeks leading up to Christmas, as well as fairy tale telling events in the "House of Stars" and over 150 further appointments with charitable organisations. Her visits bring joy to old folks' homes, kindergartens, institutions for the disabled and hospitals. Just before Christmas, the Christkind takes presents to the little patients in Nuremberg's children's hospitals. In addition, the Christkind gives a lot of interviews, appears on TV and visits Christmas Markets in other cities as an ambassador for Nuremberg. Her renown has spread as far as the USA. Every year, the Chicago Christmas Market which was established in 1996, modelled on Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt, is opened by the previous years' Christkind from Nuremberg speaking her prologue in English. Nuremberg's Christmas ambassador is also a regular visitor to Glasgow, Nuremberg's Scottish twin city.
Since 1969, the Christkind has been elected every two years. The media invite young Nuremberg girls to apply with a picture and CV, providing they fulfil the following conditions:
They should ideally be born in Nuremberg, at least should have lived here for a longer time period. They must be between 16 and 19 years old. The should be at least 160 cm tall and must have a very good head for heights and a certain resistance to bad weather.
Applications are then published both in the daily newspapers and on the internet, and the readers and users elect six favourites. The final selection is made by a jury who tests the girls in a round of talks – for example on their knowledge about Nuremberg. The Christkind is elected for a "period of office" of two years.
The City of Nuremberg Press Office organises the election of the Nuremberg Christkind and co-ordinates her busy appointment schedule. Up until today, the City has adhered strictly to the principle that the Christkind is not to be marketed in a commercial way. Her appearances are exclusively limited to social and charitable causes and to promoting friendly relations with people from other cities and countries.
Institutions interested in a visit by the Christkind during Advent, may request an appointment, starting in September each year, under the heading “Terminanfragen” (Requests for Appointments). Since interest has continued to grow every year, unfortunately not all requests can be granted. Please refrain from telephone enquiries.