In the Erzgebirge, a former mining region, Christmas is a festival of lights. For miners, who work in danger and darkness, light plays a special, bright role.
The traditional Erzgebirge Christmas season lasts six weeks, from St. Andrew's Day on November 30 until Twelfth Day or Epiphany on January 6. The season features scores of nativity displays and other decorations, some of them mining-themed. One of the highlights is the Schneeberg "Lichtelfest", or festival of lights, with its night-time miners' parade and final concert. Other small towns well worth a visit are Annaberg-Buchholz and Seiffen, which is renowned for its traditional wooden toys. And Schwarzenberg has one of Saxony's loveliest Christmas markets – with a 475-year-old tradition.