Birmingham's German market in 10th anniversary
Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market has opened for a 10th year.
The largest market of its kind in the UK attracted three million visitors in 2009 and boosted the city's economy by £89.6m, the council said.
The market in Victoria Square and New Street will be open seven days a week until 23 December.
It began with 24 stalls in 2001, but this year there are more than 180 at the event and the Christmas Craft Fayre, which features local traders.
German mulled wine
Leader of the city council Mike Whitby said: "It's important to stress the fact that the benefits of this annual event stretch far beyond the market itself.
"Visitors come here and spend money in our shops, restaurants and hotels, adding to the overall economy of the city centre at a critical time of year for retailers and business."
Germany is well known for its Christmas markets, with more than 2,500 across the country.
The Lord Mayor of Birmingham Councillor Len Gregory and Frankfurt City Councillor Volker Stein officially opened the 2010 Frankfurt Christmas Market at 1730 GMT.
It features traditional stalls offering handmade toys, Christmas decorations, jewellery, clothing and craft goods.
German mulled wine (Glühwein), grilled sausages, pretzels, German beer, gingerbread and marzipan sweets are among items available.
Chamberlain and Centenary squares host the Christmas Craft Fayre.