Prague's Old Town Square during the Christmas season

Prague’s Old Town Square Christmas tree will be lit six times on November 30

Prague's main Christmas markets open at the start of Advent and run until Three Kings Day

The Christmas tree in Prague’s Old Town Square will be lit at 4:30 pm on Saturday, November 30, and the Christmas market there and at Wenceslas Square, as well as most of the remaining markets that haven’t already started, will open at the same time. The Old Town Square market is ranked among the best in Europe.

To keep crowds to a manageable size, the tree in Old Town Square will be re-lit once an hour on the half-hour —4:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm, and 9:30 pm. Entertainment starts at 11:20 am.

The first song played will be the same as it has been since 2017, but the tree décor is different and the lighting pattern will be slower to give people more chance to see details.

The opening song is the title track from the film Krkonošské pohádky (Giant Mountains Fairytales) composed by Vadim Petrov. “The Krkonoše mountains belong to my childhood, and my relationship to this part of our country and the local story about the righteous Krakonoš has always filled me with love. I was able incorporate all this love into the music of the Krkonošské pohádky,” Petrov said in a press release.

christmas tree arrival
2019 Christmas tree arrives in Prague. via Taiko / Facebook

This song will alternate with John Williams’ “Somewhere in My Memory” from Home Alone.

The Old Town Square tree is a 22-meter spruce from Semily in the Liberec region this year. It is decorated with 40 angels and 4.5 kilometers of LED chains in warm white. They will be complemented by white and red balls, stars and gingerbread.

A theme in the decorations of the markets in Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, and náměstí Republiky — all operated by the same company — is angels, highlighted by traditional colors of gold and white with details of red and green.

Under the tree, visitors will find Nativity scene on one side and a snowy village on the other side, which will serve as a photo corner. The popular Cinderella slipper from last year will return and there will be an Advent wreath with mistletoe for photo backdrops.

christmas tree
Christmas tree seen from the lookout bridge in 2018. via Raymond Johnston

“Angels will appear above the heads of visitors, hovering around the central tree. Moreover, they will shine, so that the illusion of flying angels will be almost realistic in the evening,” Jakub Olbert, director of SOS Dekorace, said.

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The stalls in Old Town Square have a new design mixing metal and natural wood tiles, and colored strips on their roofs. There will also be live potted trees in the market area to create the feeling of a forest.

The market runs until Three Kings Day on January 6. Almost 4,500 performers will perform on the stage and every day there are performances of folk and children’s ensembles from the Czech Republic and abroad, charity and accompanying events, dance performances and program blocks for children and adults.

Visitors can look forward to traditional events such as cosplaying Santas, angels and demons on St. Nicholas Eve on December 5, Jakub Jan Ryba’s holiday music Hej mistře, free fish soup on December 23 and 24, a New Year’s Eve program, as well as charity events. Popular acts coming to the market includeMirai, Tomáš Klus and Support Lesbiens, and Čechomor.

Prague's Old Town Square Christmas tree will be lit six times on November 30
Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) serves carp soup. via Raymond Johnston

Vendors will put an emphasis on Czech-made goods and domestic food as much as possible. Several stalls will have gifts made in charity-supported workshops. Plates and cups are made of compostable materials but need to put in the proper trash bins. Morre space this year will be allotted to charitable organizations.

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After the tree in Old Town Square is taken down, the cleaned branches will go to Prague Zoo to feed animals, and the wood will go to a carpentry shop in Brno.

The market will be open from 10 am to 10 pm daily, with some food stands open until midnight.

Up to date information and schedules can be found at the market’s website and Facebook page.

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