Prague’s Old Town Christmas market to pay tribute to 50 years of Cinderella

Opening this weekend and running until the beginning of January, Prague's biggest markets have festive surprises in store.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 30.11.2023 12:04:00 (updated on 01.12.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague’s largest Christmas markets commence on Saturday, Dec. 2, at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. This week, organizers have unveiled details for what to expect for the 2023 season.

This year’s Old Town market will have a Cinderella theme in honor of the Czech holiday fairy tale Three Wishes for Cinderella which celebrates 50 years since the film's debut in 1973.

Tribute to a historic fairy tale

"In decorating Old Town Square, our focus was on allowing the grandeur of the historical space to speak for itself through tasteful and sensitive decoration. The fairy tale Cinderella remains an integral part of Czech homes' Christmas atmosphere, and this year's anniversary is seamlessly woven into the Christmas concept," said a representative from Taiko, the organizer of the market for 18 consecutive years.

The tree will light up daily every half hour from 4:30 and 9:30 p.m. with animation set to the score for the film, composed by Karel Svoboda. Five-meter candles will brighten the observation bridge, and an envelope-shaped photo point in the square will represent fulfilled wishes during the holiday season.

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This year markets aim to reduce waste

This year both markets embrace an eco-friendly stance, featuring decorations crafted from recycled materials and introducing collapsible cups, cutlery, and straws. Cleaning crews donned in white overalls with yellow vests will collect 100 percent compostable cups directly from attendees.

The Old Town and Wenceslas Square markets will open on Saturday at 10 a.m.; the tree lighting will take place at 4:30 p.m. For full details see the official pages of the Prague Christmas markets. You can also see the complete lineup of concerts, live performances, workshops, and events taking place this year in both Old Town and Wenceslas Square here.

"Every year, we strive to introduce something new to captivate visitors and create a magical Christmas atmosphere. Maintaining order in the city center is a top priority, reflected in the addition of cup collectors and reinforced cleaning crews," said Libor Votruba, Chairman of the Board of Taiko.

The tree, adorned with 60 giant 2D Christmas stars (which are around 80-100cm), 3D printed from recyclable plastic, adds a novel touch. Decorated with red and gold balls, the tree sparkles with 11 kilometers of light chains and 100 thousand LED diode bulbs. The City of Prague's Technology Company managed the tree's felling, transportation, and installation in Old Town earlier this week.

The markets will collaborate with local and regional vendors. "We've chosen fully collapsible straws and cutlery from the Czech company Refork. Our choice to support domestic products extends to Moravian wine (Chateau Valtice), Czech sausages, and other offerings," said Jan Dell, Director of Taiko.

Running until January 6, 2024, Prague's Christmas markets have gained a wave of pre-opening attention on Instagram, securing a spot among the top 10 most frequently mentioned markets by the end of November.

Recognition from CNN, which ranks Prague's Old Town Square among the top five most beautiful Christmas markets globally in 2023, has added to the organizers' sense of responsibility.

"Our foremost goal is to craft a Christmas ambiance that lingers in the hearts of visitors long after they leave," said Votruba.

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