The markets can be found on the Main Square and Hviezdoslavovo Square, with 107 stands ready to serve food and handmade traditional products to locals and foreigners alike until 23 December. The traditional delicacies on offer include cigánska pečienka (roasted pork or chicken in a bun topped with grilled onion and mustard); lokše (potato crepes) stuffed with goose fat, poppy, or cabbage; varené víno (mulled wine); punč (alcoholic punch); and hriatô (plum brandy with a top layer of fried fat).
Some of the stands offer handmade products such as candles, woolly hats, scarves and ceramic products. Bratislavans share the impression that it’s not only about shopping, but about the need for people to meet and wish each other a Merry Christmas.
The opening of the Christmas festivities starts with switching on the Christmas tree lights, which this year will be done using pedal power, as various celebrities will peddle dynamo power into the lights, also to show people how much energy is needed to light up the tree. Overall, Bratislava is tightening its belt with its Christmas spending, hoping to save around EUR 20,000 by not putting up many of the usual decorations in the streets.
The show kicks off on the Main Square at 4.30, with the market on Hviezdoslavovo opening at 5.30 with a Slovak record attempt at the most sparklers lit at any one time.