In the Erzgebirge, a former mining region, Christmas is a festival of lights. For miners working in danger and darkness, lights pointed the way and were a sign of hope.
The traditional Erzgebirge Christmas season lasts six weeks, from St. Andrew's Day on November 30 until Twelfth Night 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 five centuries of tradition behind it.