Prague's Old Town Christmas market canceled but the tree will shine on as a symbol of the season

The organizers of the Czech capital's largest Christmas markets have announced that the Old Town and Wenceslas Square markets will not open this year

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas
Published on 26.10.2020 12:52 (updated on 26.10.2020)

The largest Christmas markets in the Czech Republic will not take place this year due to the coronavirus.

Representatives from Taiko, a.s., the company which operates the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square Christmas markets, announced the news in a press release Monday afternoon.

But while the markets won't open, Taiko says the tree will still stand as a symbol of the season.

"It is also for psychological reasons that we do not want to give up the Christmas holidays completely," a Taiko spokesperson said in a news release. "In this difficult time we need peace and a good mood now more than ever. Therefore, we decided to proceed with a smaller version of the Christmas celebrations."

Taiko said that while it is currently planning to install just the tree, a 19-meter Norway spruce grown in Jílové near Prague, if the epidemiological situation improves, it will be ready to open some smaller stalls.

"At the moment, we are not counting on the classic Christmas markets," said Jan Chabr, Prague city councillor. Taiko has offered to install the tree with some modest decorations at no additional cost to the city.

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The company, which also operates the Easter markets -- shuttered in spring due to the first wave of the coronavirus -- said that while the closure effects its bottom line, they respect and understand the decision.

The tree will be erected in Old Town square on November 23, at the beginning of the advent season.