CHRISTMAS IN PRAGUE - simply wonderful
Christmas markets are a key ingredient of the Czech festive magic. The Prague Christmas markets light up the city centre at this time of year, bringing tourists and locals together to enjoy the holiday spirit, in a true 'winter wonderland' setting.
The Prague Christmas markets run daily throughout December. They take place at the Old Town Square & Wenceslas Square with smaller ones operating Havelske Trziste & Namesti Republiky. All are within 10 minutes walking distance of each other. The Prague Christmas markets consist of brightly decorated wooden huts selling a variety of traditional Czech products from handicrafts and hot food (corn on the cob, sausages and local specialties), to Czech beers and warm drinks. Outdoor Christmas shopping is so much easier with a cup of hot wine in your hand!
The markets sell nice Christmas stocking fillers, such as Bohemian Crystal, wooden toys, scented candles, hand-made jewellery, ceramic mugs, hats, scarves, traditional puppets and Christmas tree ornaments.
But the Christmas markets are not just about shopping. You can also observe traditional foods being made, and in the Old Town Square children can stroke sheep, goats and even a lama. There is also a Bethlehem scene - a large wooden stable depicts Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and the Three Kings.
Most impressive of all is the Christmas tree, shipped from the Krkonose mountains in the North of the Czech Republic. Erected in the Old Town Square, the tree is draped in a blaze of lights, which are turned on every night round 5pm. Set against a dark gothic skyline, this is a spectacular sight.
And what would Christmas be without carols? Local and International choirs and musical ensembles take to the stage in the Old Town Square to entertain visitors as they browse the market stalls, and enjoy the food and drink.
The regular programme of events includes school children from throughout the Czech Republic. The highlight of their year, the school children dress in traditional costume to dance and sing for the crowd. Christmas in Prague is simply wonderful!
Advent calendar at a glance
First Saturday in December
Lighting of the Christmas Tree in Old Town Square. Christmas trees are also lit in Ortenovo namesti, Andel or Strossmayerovo namesti and of course Prague Castle.Traditional Christmas Markets in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square start. Other Christmas markets are in namesti Miru, namesti Republiky and Andel and many other places.
December 5 - St. Nicholas
The evening before St. Nicholas Day, December 5, St. Nicholas strolls around the city, accompanied by an Angel and a Devil, visiting children and handing out presents. First, he asks the children whether they have been good and if not, they must promise they will be better next year.
December 13 - St. Lucille
The Czech nation also regards her as a guardian against witches. St. Lucille’s Day, December 13, used to be the winter solstice according to the older Julian calendar - the most significant moment of the entire year. This is where the old Czech saying "Lucille - shortens the night, but will not extend the day." comes from.
big tubs with live carp for sale appear in the streets of town.
December 24 & 25
Christmas Eve and Christmas Holidays
New Year's Eve celebrations on Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square with midnight fireworks.
January 1 2008 - New Year's Fireworks
the best viewing areas alongside Vltava River, from Charles Bridge to Stefánik Bridge and on Letná Plain