To the sound of traditional festive songs and with a healthy dose of festive cheer, Germany's oldest Christmas market opened on 26 November in Dresden. Known as Striezelmarkt, the market celebrates its 581st outing in 2015 and is set to be visited by millions in the coming weeks, eager to mull over mulled wine and stock up on stocking-fillers. Visitors seemed unperturbed by recent attacks in Paris, saying they felt safe in Dresden.
"Of course I think of the things that happened in the world recently but I still don't feel unsafe," said Grit Luettwitz.
Shopper Nikos Puschmann said those who carried out the Paris attacks wanted "to make people feel unsafe. But not me, no. I guess if it happens, it happens."
A spokesman for Dresden police said that the city and its Christmas market was under no special threat level and that the number of officers was not increased this year.
With the arrival of the cold weather, Christmas markets are a familiar picture all over Germany, with vendors selling everything from handicraft to grilled bratwurst and mulled wine. Thousands packed the city's square to make the most of the first-day celebrations, but latecomers need not worry, as visitors have until 24 December to make the most of the annual event.