The festive atmosphere in Prague during the Christmas season is worldwide famous and it offers an unforgettable experience for everyone. Therefore, December is definitely one of the best times of the year to visit Prague!
There are many Christmas markets scattered around Prague. The greatest and the busiest one takes place in the Old Town Square from 1th December 2018 until 6th January 2019. The market begins with the festive lighting of the Christmas tree on the first weekend of Advent. This year the first official lighting of the twenty-three-meter Christmas tree will be on Saturday 1st December at 16:30. Every day during the market, the tree will be lit at 16:30, 17:30, 18:30, 19:30, 20:30 and 21:30. The performance will be accompanied by two music backgrounds – the first one is from the beloved Czech Christmas fairy tale “Tři oříšky pro Popelku“ (similar to Cinderella), the other one is well known as a title song from Christmas movie Home alone. This year’s theme of the Christmas markets is Fairy Christmas, which draws on fairy tale motives in general, but most probably from traditional Czech fairy tales for example by Božena Němcová.
You can do a little gift shopping in plenty of decorated wooden huts offering Christmas decorations, wood-carved toys, glassware, jewellery, confectionary and refreshment. You should definitely try some local specialities such as barbecued pork, sausages, gingerbreads and Christmas sweets, roasted chestnuts, etc. Popular festive beverages are Mulled wine (“Svařák“ in Czech), a rum based beverage “Grog“ or Czech honey wine “Medovina“. The stands in the Old Town Square will be opened daily – from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. the stands with products, and from 10 a.m. till midnight the stands with refreshments. The markets will be accompanied by rich programme including folk, dance and carol singing performances. For the kids, there will be prepared special workshops and tiny stables with animals. It is possible to feed the animals with a food offered next to fences.
Other typical Christmas markets are located in the nearby Wenceslas Square and in the Republic Square. The Prague Castle offers Christmas markets with unique atmosphere and a beautiful view. Smaller Christmas markets in Tyl´s Square (Metro station “I.P.Pavlova” – red line C, https://goo.gl/maps/cuze5cpqdQ62) and in Peace Square (Metro station “Náměstí míru“ – the green line A, https://goo.gl/maps/hRMe4RpKtRU2) are very popular by Praguers; you can try local authentic atmosphere there until 24th December.
An interesting Czech tradition, you can notice during your visit, is the Feast of St. Nicholas on 5th December. In the evening, you may meet groups wearing traditional costumes. The three main characters are St. Nicholas (“Mikuláš“ in Czech, he resembles Santa Claus who was supposed to be inspired by St. Nicholas) accompanied by the Angel (“Anděl“) and the Devil (“Čert“). They walk along the city and stop children to ask them if they were good in the past year. The children usually replay that they were good and sing a song or say a short poem. The good kids are rewarded with sweets from the Angel while the bad kids only get potatoes or coal from the Devil instead of candy. Moreover, the bad kids are warned that next time they might be taken to hell in Devil´s sack. You would not believe it, but this a little bit scary tradition is very effective and fun! This year you can witness this tradition in the Old Town Square from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
.We wish you a great time in the magical Christmas Prague!
Check some photos from previous years for an inspiration: