The 2013 Festival of Lights

By | Category: Travel destinations

Modern Leipzig

It’s just a week before the 9th of October celebrations in Leipzig marking the anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution. This year’s festival will be dedicated to the part played by the former Czechoslovakia in the Peaceful Revolution, recalling the Prague Spring of 1968, the occupation of the West German embassy in Prague in 1989 and the exodus of East German refugees via Dresden to Hof in West Germany and their return to their homeland post-1989.

The installation is made up of video projections, layers of sound, live music, a drama performance and selected literary and journalistic writings, set against a backdrop of the portals of the Leipzig Opera, used to symbolically represent a railway station.

For those of us who remember Europe prior to the collapse of communism in eastern Europe and the opening up of these countries to visitors it was a strange time. All our lives we had learnt of the cold war and the tensions it brought. Now, in a comparatively short time, it was easier to travel to each of them. Who had been to Leipzig before? It was a name on a map and little more. But then in 1989 the demonstrations began. A year later it was all over and Germany was unified. So next year on October 9th when the 25th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution will be celebrated it will be a special time and visitors from all over Europe will visit the city.

Before then, another reason to visit the city is the Leipzig Christmas market which has a tradition going back as far as 1458. This year, taking place from 26 November to 22 December, there will be 250 stalls and the traditional model railway exhibition and Christmas decorations from the Erzgebirge. Twinned with Birmingham, the home of the largest German Christmas market in the UK, Leipzig is attracting ore British visitors and there are direct air links with the city.

At all Christmas markets you would find hot punches but Leipzig has Feuerzangenbowlenpyramide (a flaming punch), which can’t really be described; it needs to be tried as a British friend who now lives in the city tells me. He has lived there for over a year now and, having travelled widely, says there is where he is happy to stay.

What better recommendation to visit a city could you have?

For more about Leipzig, click here.

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