© www.pkfotografie.com, Philipp Kirschner

Christmas in Leipzig and its surrounding region

We are all so much looking forward to Christmas: Finally, the Christmas atmosphere is returning to Leipzig and its surrounding region! It will be a magical Advent season with numerous Christmas markets and the festive season will be here in no time. Of course, the annual highlight is the traditional and much-loved Leipzig Christmas Market. It will be shining in all its glory at several locations across the city centre.

Visitors are invited to come to the castles and palaces of the region and spend enchanted hours within their historic walls at events such as the Rochlitz Castle Christmas and the Fairytale Castle Christmas at Colditz Castle. You can also spend time together with friends and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere at the Christmas markets across the region.

You can find out more about the exact dates of all the Christmas markets in Leipzig and its surrounding region, additional thrilling winter highlights,culinary experiences and cultural events in the Christmas season right here!


Leipzig Christmas Market

The tradition of the Leipzig Christmas Market dates back to 1458. This makes it Germany's second-oldest Christmas market. This year, the market will finally once again be creating a magical Christmas atmosphere in Leipzig's city centre from 28 November to 23 December.

You can get into the Christmas mood with some convivial socialising and a relaxed stroll around the Leipzig Christmas Market. With around 300 stalls, it is not only known as one of the largest Christmas markets but also as one of the most attractive in the country due to its unique cultural and culinary features and fascinating location in the historical setting of Leipzig city centre.

Leipzig Christmas Market is spread out across the entire city. The central hub is at the market square where your can visit one stall after another around the traditional Christmas tree. You can buy high-quality arts and crafts here as well as tasting all kinds of delicious food and drinks. The Augustusplatz will be transformed into a Finnish and Tirolean village and is particularly worth a visit for families with children. The Fairytale Forest will enchant your children and a ride on the Ferris wheel offers a view of the city from above for old and young. At the Historic Christmas Market at Naschmarkt square, right behind the old city hall and in front of the former stock exchange, visitors can marvel at all kinds of crafts from candlemaking to artistic metalwork. Nostalgic moments can be relived at the much-loved historical merry-go-round on Reichsstrasse. You can get together and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere under the Christmas Pyramid at St. Nicholas Church Square. Various Christmas Markets are located along the Grimmaische Strasse where you are welcome to visit the shops. The Petersstrasse is also ideal for shopping for all kinds of presents. 

A varied programme of events with numerous highlights will add the finishing touch to your visit to the Leipzig Christmas Market.

Leipzig Christmas Market daily opening hours:

28 November–23 December 2023

  • Sundays to Thursdays: 10 am to 9 pm

  • Fridays and Saturdays: 10 am to 10 pm

  • 28 November 2023: Festive opening ceremony at the market square at 5 pm, open until 9 pm

  • 23 December 2023: 10 am to 8 pm (only at the market square)

Highlights of the 2023 Leipzig Christmas Market

Santa Claus is coming today!

  • 10 am – Concert oft the Schlema e.V. Brass band at the Main Station Leipzig
  • 11 am – Arrival of Santa Claus at the Main Station (platform 6)
  • 11 – 11.30am: Waiting for Santa Clausat the Market Square
  • 12 –pm Arrival of Santa Claus at the Market Square
  • 12.15 - 3 pm – Advent concert at the Market Square
  • 4 pm – Meet Santa Claus on the stage at the Market Square
  • 5.30 – 6.30 pm – Daniela Bensch on stage at the Market Square 
  • 7 pm – Trombones blowing from the balcony of the Old Town Hall

Sunday shopping

During the Christmas market season, shops will be open in the city centre on the first Sunday in Advent from 1 pm to 6 pm.

Sunday shopping

During the Christmas market season, shops will be open in the city centre on the third Sunday in Advent from 1 pm to 6 pm.

Christmas markets outside the city centre

Christmas market at the Felsenkeller

Outside of the city center, a small but beautiful Advent market awaits numerous visitors in the alternative district of Plagwitz. There is so much to discover at the medieval Christmas market at the Felsenkeller on Karl-Heine-Straße - and of course lots of treats for young and old!


Christmas scent and twinkling lights at the Gohliser Schlösschen

Bring light into the dark season and enjoy the Christmas season in Leipzig in the contemplative atmosphere of the Gohliser Schlösschen with treats such as home-baked waffles, roasted almonds and homemade mulled wine or delicious punch! In the illuminated baroque garden of the castle, a varied cultural program awaits you in addition to the "Christmas scent and glittering lights", including choral music, Advent carol singing and Christmas stories.

Christmas Market at Werk 2

It's very christmassy at Werk 2, when the entire site at Connewitzer Kreuz is transformed into a creative Christmas Market in December! Numerous traders will be presenting handmade and delicious products. In addition to numerous stalls, there are also lots of hands-on activities and events waiting for you!

© www.dresden-fotografie.de, Sylvio Dittrich

Advent in the Leipzig region

First Weekend of Advent

Second Weekend in Advent

Third Weekend of Advent

Traditions and customs in the Leipzig region

Was the famous Dresden Christmas Stollen actually invented in Torgau?

Around 560 years ago in the Middle Ages, this traditional Christmas fruit loaf was baked for the fasting period from flour, water and brewer's yeast. The shape was intended to remind people of the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes and it didn't matter what the loaf tasted like. Heinrich Drasdow, a court head cook and baker in Torgau had the idea of adding sugar, raisins, almonds, dried fruit and butter to the loaf. Some of these valuable ingredients were only available at chemist's shops. Consequently, his customers at the time were all very wealthy. It was also a very tricky business to bake a fasting loaf using animal products such as butter that were condemned by the Pope. This sticky situation even became a problem for the princely brothers Frederick the Wise and John the Steadfast. At the time, they were ruling the extensive lands of Saxony from Torgau. They wrote a letter to Pope Innocent VIII and managed to legalise the recipe already being used.

Baker Drasdow received a letter of privilege for the "stollen" he had created and can now be considered the man who invented or at least rediscovered this rich Christmas bread that we know today as „Dresden Christstollen“. Even in pagan Germanic times, bread called "Gebildebrote" that contained dried fruits was baked. The baker from Torgau improved on these ancient recipes and courageously filled a gap in the market. At the court in Dresden, "stollen" or "striezel" as they were known there then were produced and consumed in previously unimaginable amounts. The stollen became ever better in taste and even more well-known. According to legend, the reason why the original Drasdow Stollen is now known as the Dresden Stollen is because the inhabitants of this stretch of land along the river Elbe mumble when they speak.

Sophie the Baker Explains the Story of the "Stollen" Christmas Fruit Loaf

Nowadays, you can go on a tour with Sophie the baker's wife through Torgau old town. She will tell you all about daily life in the bakery in the olden days and knows everything about the facts, legends and myths surrounding the question of "where did the Dresden stollen originate?" Every year at the Christmas market, the baker Frieder Francke invites everyone to join him at Torgau marketplace to ceremoniously cut the stollen into slices. He uses a stollen recipe by Barbara Wessner who is descended from the Drasdo family of bakers.

Where? Markt 1, 04860 Torgau

Lighting the Christmas Pyramid in Leisnig

On the 1st Sunday in Advent 2023, you can enjoy some grilled sausages and mulled wine at the lighting of the Christmas pyramid in Leisnig. Leisnig's firemen will lead a lantern procession to the pyramid after the "Stollen" festival at the Münch am Eulenberg bakery where this traditional Christmas fruit loaf is baked. From 4:30 pm, the pyramid will be lit and begin to rotate accompanied by the Leisnig brass band and with the help of Leisnig outdoor swimming club.

When? 03.12.2023 at 4:30 pm
Where? Kirchstrasse, 04703 Leisnig

The Eilenburg Advent Calendar

The Eilenburg Advent Calendar at the town hall traditionally incorporates special events that give all the town's citizens, businesses (shops, service companies, restaurants etc.), clubs and institutions the opportunity to be involved.

As everyone knows, there is always a surprise hidden behind each door of any Advent calendar. This will also be true at the big Eilenburg Town Hall Advent Calendar. There is a something special behind every number. Each business (shop, service company, restaurant etc.), club or institution can provide citizens with a surprise or a special offer on a specific day. These can be discounts or rebates, small gifts or even online tours and online tips that are only valid on the relevant day. The aim is to make interesting and worthwhile offers to the citizens of Eilenburg.

The Advent calendar will be back this year with a slightly different concept. Owing to the events of the last two years, members of the city council will provide reflective words or Advent wishes each day and the windows in the town hall will be lit up.

When? from 01.12.2023
Where? Marktpl. 1, 04838 Eilenburg


The Story of the Four Candles in Doberschütz

Four Candles
Four candles were lit on the advent wreath. Outside, everything was quiet and covered in snow. It was so quiet, that you could hear the candles start talking to each other.

The first candle sighed and said: "My name is PEACE. My flame keeps people safe, but there is so much war in the world. Nobody wants my light." The first candle's flame grew smaller and smaller and eventually went out.

The second candle flickered and said: "My name is FAITH. But I feel like nobody needs me. People don't believe in anything any more. What difference does it make if my flame is lit or not?" A draught blew through the room and the second candle went out.

Softly and hesitantly, the third candle began to speak: "My name is LOVE. I don't have the strength to keep my flame burning. Selfishness is ruling the world. People only look after themselves and are not prepared to help each other be happy." One last flicker, and this light also went out.

Then a child came into the room. Amazed, the child looked at the candles and said: "Why are you not burning? Your flames should be lit and not blown out." Worried, the child contemplated the three unlit candles.

Then the fourth candle spoke up. It said: "Don't be sad, my child. As long as my flame is still burning, we can always light the other candles again. "My name is HOPE."

The child lit a small piece of wood at the fourth candle and gave new life to peace, faith and love.

The Christmas season in Geithain town centre

The smell of freshly baked bread and delicious cakes has been in the air in the town centre of Geithain since 1877.Bäckerei Claus is a family bakery that values originality and regionality. This is why the Clausens are famous and also well-known far beyond the city walls. Their "stollen" Christmas fruit cake is even in high demand as far away as the Cote d'Azur. There is also nothing better than some grilled meat from Butcher Schuhknecht from Geithain. This is a must at any festival in Geithain or guests will notice the difference straight away! The small shop has more than 500 different products available every day. Special requests are no problem. Products are packaged in modern reusable packaging called an ecoBox.

Christmas cuisine in Leipzig and its surrounding region!

The children's carousel at Wermsdorf Goose Market © www.pkfotografie.com, Philipp Kirschner
On the market stalls, you will find arts and crafts decorated in nordic Christmas style. There will be fresh Christmas geese, carp and Christmas trees to tempt you as well as a carousel for your kids.

Advent is not only special because of the magical atmosphere and the time we spend with loved ones but also the festive meals and treats. Whether you fancy Christmas goose, a roast or an Advent brunch, you can save yourself the stress of shopping and the hours spent in the kitchen by enjoying wonderful meals at restaurants in Leipzig and its surrounding region! Fresh goose from a local breeder, hearty game in an atmosphere steeped in history or a unique mulled wine tasting excursion – Leipzig and its surrounding region make for a delicious Christmas!

Give a piece of Leipzig as a present

© www.stefanhoyer.de/, Stefan Hoyer

Cultural events in the Advent season

Advent is a time for music. Carol singers go from door to door, many families sing carols by the Christmas tree and in churches, the organs ring out. Leipzig would not deserve its reputation as a city of music and culture if it did not offer many unique event highlights that make this magical time of year particularly special. Come and see the exciting dinner show "Gans gans anders" at the Spiegelpalast in Leipzig's Krystallpalast Varieté, enjoy the enchanting Christmas Oratorio sung by St. Thomas Boys Choir accompanied by the Gewandhausorchester or explore the numerous other Christmas concerts and Advent cabarets across the city!

"Gans ganz anders" (A very different kind of goose) – The extravagant dinner show

From 11 November to 13 January 2024 in the Spiegelpalast at Wilhelm Leuschner Square.

More details

Christmas Oratorio performed by the St. Thomas Boys Choir and the Gewandhausorchester.

On 15, 16 and 17 December 2023 in St. Thomas Church.

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Christmas concert by the Gewandhaus Choirs – "Rejoicing and Carols"

On 17 December at Leipzig Gewandhaus.

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Christmas concert by the Philharmonie Leipzig

On 25 December at Leipzig Gewandhaus.

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Johann Sebastian Bach – Christmas Oratorio BWV 248

Christmas Oratorio at St. Laurentius church in Markranstädt on 17 December 2023.

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Christmas blues at the "Kulturbastion" arts centre

On 2 December 2023 at the Kulturbastion arts centre in Torgau.

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Christmas Oratorio Cantatas I-III

On 16 December in the concert hall at the Bad Düben Heath Spa.

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Christmas with the vocal ensemble "Consortium Vivente"

On 17 December 2023 in Grimma town hall.

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Book your Christmas trip to Leipzig now 

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