This year the tree is an 80-year-old spruce from the ski resort of Janske Lazne in the Giant Mountains, a little over a hundred kilometers north-east of Prague. Aptly enough the tree was already covered with a powdering of early snow, when it was carefully lifted by crane on Monday, to prepare it for the long journey.
Two years ago this was a Christmas ritual that ended in disaster. Just a few days after being put up as the pride of the Czech capital's decorations, the tree crashed to the ground in a gale, crushing half the market stands on the square, and leaving a British tourist serious injured and plenty more in a state of shock. Last year the tree was - not surprisingly - on a slightly more modest scale, but memories are short and this year's specimen not only competes with its ill-fated predecessor, but is even a good 5 metres higher. Let's hope the town hall will make sure the tree is very firmly anchored this year.
Prague's famous Christmas markets, on the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square both begin this Saturday, just in time for Advent.