LEIPZIG, Germany – The Leipzig Christmas Market will be held from 24 November to 23 December 2015, continuing a tradition that dates all the way back to 1458 and that makes it the second oldest Christmas market in Germany.
Centuries-old Christmas traditions and festive flair in the cities: there is a reason why the federal German state of Saxony is thought of as the land of Christmas. Just as it did 500 years ago, the Leipzig Christmas Market today continues to blend in harmoniously with the historical backdrop of the city center. Hosting over 250 originally decorated stalls, it is one of the largest and most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany. Traditionally, the main area is the marketplace, which is where a 20-metre-tall, festively lit spruce tree and the market stage with its wide-ranging Christmas program can be found. On Augustusplatz, a Ferris wheel offers unique views of Leipzig, while in Salzgässchen you can take a ride on a historical carousel.
A whole host of delicacies such as oven-fresh pretzels, Pulsnitzer gingerbread, Leipzig mulled wine and the much-loved burnt punch made of red wine and flaming rum offer a tempting invitation to tarry awhile as you savor the mouth-watering tastes. Traditional Christmas decorations from the nearby Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge), such as nutcrackers, ‘incense smoker’ figurines and Christmas pyramids, are much sought-after souvenirs. The world-famous Thomanerchor boys’ choir performs concerts in St. Thomas Church during Advent. Children can find their heart’s desires in the fairytale forest on Augustusplatz or while making handicrafts in the elves’ workshop.
The Leipzig Christmas Market is open from 10 am to 9 pm from Sunday to Thursday and from 10 am to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday. The restrictions on Sunday shopping are lifted on the second and fourth Advent Sundays (6 and 20 December) when the shops in Leipzig’s city center open from 1 pm to 6 pm.
Daily excursions to Dresden and the Ore Mountains
Just an hour from Leipzig is Saxony’s state capital of Dresden, itself famous for its Striezelmarkt Christmas market and Dresdner Christstollen, the city’s unique fruit and nut loaf, while the Ore Mountains, where a globally unique tradition of wood art and toy manufacturing is maintained, are equally close. In many of the 1,600 handicraft businesses still in existence today, you can look over the shoulders of the master craftspeople as they go about their work.