Sunday, December 17, 2017

Enchanted Parade

To be entirely honest there are few things about the festive season that I really enjoy. The consumerism, stress, expectation and music are not really my cup of tea. But I've been trying to focus on the things that I do enjoy, make my own traditions, and prioritise those.  One of these traditions is to attend a lantern parade each December.  

For the last couple of years I have been to the Bedminster Winter Lanterns parade, which is affectionately known as Bemmy Lanterns. Local schools and community groups get together to make paper lanterns around different themes, and then process through the streets with them after dark, lighting up the night. Local bands and dance groups also join in the procession, creating a multi-dimensional spectacle of light, shape, colour, music and movement. 

For more of a feel of what it's like to watch the parade, you can watch my video. I tried to capture as much of the atmosphere as possible. 

The lanterns range from basic to beautiful, and the music choices are sometimes a little eccentric, but I think there's a massive amount of charm in that.  Children, adults, and a multitude of pet dogs line the parade route and excitedly await its arrival.

As each lantern passes by there is a festival atmosphere, everyone happy and engaged. 

At the end of the parade there's a lantern showcase, food stalls and fireworks.

I enjoyed handmade mince pies and hot chocolate while watching the incredible bursts of fiery colour.

To me this event really sums up the aspects of the festive season that I love and want to celebrate-lighting up the darkness, making this gloomy season more bearable, casting aside "grown up" seriousness to enjoy some magic, and the community coming together to make something wonderful.

I enjoy it so much, and it's something I really look forward to.

As a bonus, I had seen an advertisement for an illuminated boat procession being held the same evening as the parade. So after the fireworks I scooted over to the harbour in search of light covered boats.

It turned out that the procession only consisted of five boats, but it was still lovely to see them all lit up, lights twinkling and reflecting on the water.

Do you have any unusual festive traditions?


  1. Oh wow! A lantern festival? I've never heard of one of these before! How magical :) I bet it's super pretty to see, and I love that there's so many different themed lanterns! It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I would love to go to one of these, I'm definitely going to have a research to see if there's any held near my hometown. Isn't pretty lights reflecting off of water the most gorgeous thing!? I love it! - Sarah x