Prague dons its Christmas garb with the start of Advent

Prague’s Old Town Square on Sunday

Hundreds of people turned out for the official tree lighting ceremony on Prague’s Old Town Square on Sunday. After an enforced two-year Covid break, the traditional Christmas market is back with close to 80 stalls selling hand-made Christmas decorations, small gifts and refreshments.

Christmas tree on Old Town Square | Photo: Kateřina Šulová,  ČTK

The smell of mulled wine, the traditional pastry “trdelnik”, grilled sausages and hot chestnuts filled the air as people gathered around Prague’s famous Astronomical Clock on Old Town Square to enjoy the traditional tree-lighting ceremony. The 25-metre spruce, decorated in red and gold, Prague’s colours, blazed with lights to the sound of an Elizabethan Serenade performed by the late cult singer Karel Gott and an orchestral version of All I want for Christmas is you.

Despite the energy crunch, the Christmas tree on Old Town Square will be lit up every day until Three Kings Day (January 6) from 4:00 pm till midnight. Visitors can enjoy a play of light and music every hour from 4.30 pm until 9.30pm.

The Christmas market also offers a cultural program presenting theatre, song and dance groups from Czechia, Latvia, The Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany and other countries. Ever Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 3pm there will be art and craft workshops for children.

There are also traditional Christmas markets on Wenceslas Square, where twenty-five stalls are open daily from 10am to 8pm, Námestí míru, I.P. Pavlova, Námestí republiky, Anděl and most other squares in the capital.

In line with tradition, a Christmas tree also graces the Prague Castle compound. The tree was lit by the First Lady, Ivana Zemanová, who officially launched the annual Christmas collection in aid of SOS Children's Villages. People can contribute to the Christmas charity until January 6.

The city’s trams and busses are also festively decorated for the Christmas season.

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