Christmas markets in Prague officially began to reopen last week with traditional holiday marketplaces at náměstí Míru and a hip new alternative in the Manifesto Winter Market by Masarykovo nádraží.
But the Christmas season will officially begin in Prague this Saturday, December 1, with a tree lighting ceremony that will ring in the Christmas Market at the Czech capital’s Old Town Square, voted by readers of USA Today as the best Christmas market in the world.
One of the last Christmas markets in Prague to officially open – other markets throughout the city at locations including Prague Castle and Anděl opened over the weekend – the Old Town Square location joins other Christmas markets at Wenceslas Square and Náměstí Republiky on December 1 to officially ring in the ring in the holiday season in Prague.
Tonight, a 61 year-old, 22 meter high spruce from the Liberec region will be erected in Old Town Square, which will see additional holiday decor and market stalls built throughout the week.
According to organizers, new ornaments will adorn the tree in 2018.
And on Saturday, December 1, the tree will officially light up for the first time during a lighting ceremony that will showcase two special shows. The tree will be lit to two different pieces of music at 16:30 and 17:30, and large crowds can be expected to gather at the marketplace to watch both.
Throughout the day starting at 12:00, special stage shows featuring Christmas carols and other musical acts will also be presented.
At the Old Town Square Christmas Market, visitors can expect to find traditional Czech Christmas goods and ornaments, hot wine and mulled cider, roasted chestnuts and Christmas cookies, and much more.
A nativity scene and petting zoo for children located near the Christmas tree will feature animals including sheep, donkeys, and a llama.
If you’re not on hand for the official tree lighting ceremony on December 1, you can still catch the special show.
Every day through January 6, the lighting show will be repeated in hourly intervals starting at 16:30. The first musical lighting show can be seen at 16:30, 18:30, and 20:30, and the second show at 17:30, 19:30, and 21:30.
For more information and a schedule of music acts and other events, see the official website of Prague’s Christmas Markets.