THE SPECTACULAR Calstock lantern parade is set to be bigger than ever this year due to involvement from the village’s children.
The annual celebration which sees the village’s residents process through the village holding handmade lanterns is a traditional event held on December 21, the winter solstice to celebrate ‘Montol’, the changing of the light.
Each year the magical parade features an array of hand-crafted lanterns made by members of the community including the iconic feature, the giant owl lantern, but this year the parade will be brighter than ever as it is set to feature not one, but five 8ft giant lanterns.
Chrissy Wallis, organiser of the lantern procession explained that she has been working with the village’s children from Calstock Primary School, Tamar Valley Pre-school and also Calstock Youth Club to produce the four giant lanterns that will showcase at the parade.
The new lanterns to join the procession will include a bee, a dragonfly, a leaping Salmon and a duck. Chrissy said: “This is the first year I’ve been able to include the schools. I’ve been helping and teaching in the school where the Year 5 and 6 students have been making a dragonfly and a bee lantern.
“They’ve looked very carefully at the anatomy and design and they’ve incorporated it into their educational curriculum.
“I’ve also been working with the Youth Club in the village hall and the pre-school have decided to make a duck as they feed the ducks each week.”
Chrissy highlighted that the animal-themed lanterns are animals that can be found within the area.
“My vision is to make a celebration of the animals we find in the Tamar Valley.
“Olivia Cheek and I have been working together with Calstock Youth Club to make a River Tamar leaping salmon. We have the wetlands here so we often have a lot of dragonflies around and there are also lots of beekeepers here trying to encourage more bees to the area”, Chrissy said.
“Plus the owl made by my husband and I will come out again.” Chrissy is happy to be able to include other members of the community in the special event.
“I’ve involved more of the community this year, the parents and more children are coming, it’s more inclusive so it’s not just people who have made the lanterns at home.”
Around 80 smaller hand held lanterns will also be paraded by the villagers which are being made with kits provided by Chrissy. If you wish to make your own lantern, email: [email protected] to request a kit and join in with the procession.
Chrissy added that the giant lanterns will feature this year thanks to sponsorship from Calstock Cake; the village’s monthly community cafe held in the village hall. On November 19 people are invited to see the lanterns being completed by Chrissy at Calstock Cake from 1.30pm until 3pm.
This year, the processions which starts at 6.30pm will be lead by Calstock’s very own newly-formed Samba band which will end at the village green with a Cornish ‘Shout’ of singers and a spectacular special show which Chrissy is keeping a special surprise!