Thank you for supporting GISSV

Your purchases from the German Holiday Market are 100% for the benefit of the German International School of Silicon Valley. With locations in Mountain View and San Francisco, GISSV is a bilingual school from preschool through grade 12. If you are interested in learning more about a German-English bilingual education, please join us at an upcoming (virtual) open house: January 29.

If you are interested in learning to speak German, improving your German, or obtaining a German language diploma, join us online at GISSV’s Saturday School. Classes for all ages and levels.

As a nonprofit, donations to GISSV are tax deductible.  How about a year-end gift to support your favorite nonprofit organization? Contribute before December 31 to take advantage of a tax deduction for 2020.

And an extra big, huge, Santa size thank you to the team of GISSV Elves who brought the spirit of the German Holiday Market directly to people’s homes.  We hope the Elves and the reindeer get their much needed rest.

We invite you to keep shopping with Our Favorite Vendors until December 31. And please explore the German Christmas traditions below.  We look forward to seeing you IN PERSON on December 13, 2021, at Mountain View’s City Hall Plaza.

Our Favorite Vendors

Handcrafted Gifts by Local Artisans

Usborne Books and More
Essence of O
Katzprints Photography
Scented Designs
Gila Glass
Fairy Dream Ceramics
Cultural Threads
Little Creations by Emma
ITSPHUN Geometric Art
Manuel Paulus Photography
Nicasio Woodworks
Judy's Folk Art Painting
Jade and Jewelry
Cashmere and Gifts
Limited Chocolate
Vintage Jewelry Redesigned
Goudy's French Cuisine
Anne Beate Collectibles
Illusive Comics & Games
Barbara Bussler Mosaics and More


During Easter time people gather at Easter Fires (Osterfeuer) - usually big bonfires that are ignited all over in Germany. Because fire is a symbol of light, of renewal, it signifies the end of Winter, and the coming of spring.

Easter Fire

On 11/11 at 11:11 am begins the carnival season, also known as the "Fifth Season" that finishes on Ash Wednesday in February of the following year with the main festivities happening around Rosenmontag (Rose Monday).

German International School of Silicon Valley

Preschool-12 Bilingual Education in Two Locations in the Bay Area.

United by a desire for a German and California accredited curriculum, six German and American families formed GISSV. Instruction began in February 2000 with 34 students.

Learn More

'Tis the - German - Season

Advent Calendar

Children are given Advent calendars prior to Christmas. These are usually made of thick paper and display a seasonal scene with 24 doors. Each day...

Advent Wreath and Christmas Tree

The Advent Wreath Traditionally advent wreaths are circular, representing God's infinite love. They are usually made of evergreen leaves with four...

Stollen, Christmas Cookies & Co

Stollen (or Stolle) ... (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtɔlən] or [ʃtɔln] is a fruit bread of nuts, spices, and dried or candied fruit, coated with pow...

Mulled Wine, Flaming Spiced Wine and Punch

Glühwein  ... (roughly translated as "smouldering-wine", from the temperature the wine is heated to) is popular in German-speaking countries and ...

Smoker and Nutcracker Doll

Räuchermännchen The Räuchermann (diminutive Räuchermännchen), erzgebirgisch Raachermannel is an incense smoker, the invention of toy makers in the...

Christmas Pyramid

Weihnachtspyramiden are Christmas decorations that have their roots in the folklore and customs of the Ore Mountain region of Germany, but which h...

Holiday Music

Carols were first sung in Europe thousands of years ago, but these were not Christmas Carols. They were pagan songs, sung at the Winter Solstice c...

Weihnachtsmann, Saint Nicholas and Krampus

Santa Claus - Der Weihnachtsmann The term Weihnachtsmann is a very generic German term for Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus. The Ge...

German Holiday/Christmas Markets

Weihnachtsmarkt A Christmas market, also known as Christkindlmarkt (literally: Christ Child Market, but the term Christkind usually refers to an a...

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve (Heiliger Abend) is celebrated in Germany on December 24. It is the last day of Advent and the start of the Christmas season. Many p...

Annual German Holiday Market Tradition

In the past years GISSV welcomed every year 10,000+ visitors from all over the San Francisco Bay Area to its cozy, two-block German Holiday Market in Downtown Mountain View.

To keep everyone safe and healthy this year - and to keep the Holiday Market spirit alive - we've moved our 8th German Holiday Market online!

We are happy you are here! Welcome!


Sharks German Heritage Night 2021

GISSV is spearheading this fun virtual event to celebrate a night of hockey with the German community!

Tickets will be available soon - and include special beanies and tickets to a Sharks game when the team is back on the ice and playing before fans at the Shark Tank (SAP Center)

Stay tuned! Sign up for more info!

Keep me informed

Shelter in Place Project: Learn German

GISSV's Saturday School is now online!

Classes for children and adults!

First ever language class? Need to brush up on German?
Seeking a German diploma? We have a class for you!

Online registration for the Spring 2021 Semester begins on January 2nd!

Learn More

Hosted by:

The Virtual German Holiday Market is brought to you by the amazing volunteers from GISSV!

Thank you to our sponors!