READ TIME 2 MIN – With 17 weeks left until the opening of the Christkindlmarket, we are feeling a little “Heimweh” (homesickness) for the beloved red and white striped huts of our market home. Some of you might be feeling the same way, or maybe you are feeling sick of being at home and longing to get out and be with friends and family – maybe with a nice hot cup of Gluehwein or Hot Chocolate?
The Germans have a few great words to describe this sort of feeling. You have probably heard “Wanderlust” as it has been floating around for a while. It pretty much describes ‘the strong desire to wander.” If you are planning on traveling to the market from even further away, maybe you are feeling “Fernweh,” which roughly translated means “distance sickness” or an ache to see far-flung places beyond your doorstep. Whatever word best describes your feelings, we simply cannot wait to be reunited with all our friends when the doors open for the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Christkindlmarket 2021.
Speaking of visitors traveling long distances, did you know that the Christkindlmarket regularly welcomes visitors from all over the world during its annual run? They are hailing from more than 30 different countries! We love our visitors that come from as close as Canada to those that visit from as far as New Zealand and Nigeria. Our friends with “Fernweh” actually make up about 69% of visitors to the market each year; 81% of them return year after year, making the Christkindlmarket the biggest Tourism Ambassador for the City of Chicago during the winter season.
To all our friends that live a little closer, don’t be jealous, we love you just as much! In fact, we work really hard to help out our local communities and be a good neighbor. Whether it’s by arranging for our good friend and namesake of the market, the Christkind, to visit area schools and children’s hospitals, or working to promote our local business, theatres, hotels and restaurants to our visitors, the Christkindlmarket enjoys showing off how amazing our hometown really is.
We appreciate our memberships with local organizations like the Chicago Loop Alliance, that is working hard this year to plan out events to revive downtown Chicago, like their weekly “Sundays on State” event that the Christkindlmarket is also going to participate in this September. Every year, the Chicago Loop Alliance writes up blog entries that share interesting information about the Christkindlmarket, like this one about our History.
We are also grateful for all that Choose Chicago, the official tourism and destination marketing organization of Chicago, is doing to bring back business and leisure visitors that benefit Chicago’s economy and communities. They always make sure to spread the word to national and international media and influencers about the Christkindlmarket, as for example in their Chicago Like A Local Blog.
Chicago is such a beautiful city with so many events and activities. We love that we contribute our part by working with organizations that have a similar vision and mission and by keeping this annual tradition, that has become the most beloved holiday event in the heart of the city, alive.
So, to you, our dear friends, no matter if you come from near or far, we cannot wait to welcome you home to the Christkindlmarket this year!