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Light up your December at one of Cornwall’s Lantern Festivals

With the arrival of December, light up the long, dark evenings and discover the lantern festivals of Cornwall.

Create your own lantern, or follow a trail of light this December, as communities get together during the winter evenings. Featuring music, torches, parades and workshops – there’s something for the whole family to get stuck into this festive season!

1. Lantern Trail

Wheal Martyn, St Austell
Saturday 2nd December // 3pm

Enjoy an atmospheric lantern trail at Wheal Martyn, including lantern making, willow crafting, campfire and marshmallows, followed by a lantern lit walk around the historic grounds before ending with a festive sing-song!

Click here to find out more.



2. Nadelik Lyskerrys

Saturday 9th December // 5.30pm

As the town gathers to celebrate the switching on of the Christmas tree lights, look out for the Masquarade Lantern Parade! Featuring lanterns made by local schools and community groups, this spectacle is one to look out for.

There’s a chance for the public to get involved too, with a workshop open to everyone on December 2nd (10am – 12pm), where you can make a lantern to carry, a mask or light up headdress!

Click here to find out more.



3. Godolphin Lantern Parade

Godolphin House, Helston
Friday 15th December // 5.30pm

Join the Procession on 15th December from Godolphin House, along ancient footpaths to the Old Chapel in Godolphin Cross.

This year’s event calls upon local folklore to help get creative – inspired by Stephen Polglase’s story, The Last Giants of Kernow. Get involved with a free lantern making workshop, then bring them along to take part in the historic parade to see if you can summon the giant of Godolphin Hill!

Click here to find out more.



4. Montol Festival

Thursday 21st December // 6pm

The Montol Festival is an annual celebration of the winter solstice, featuring reinterpretations of ancient Cornish festive customs and traditions, the festival is 6 days long, culminating with Montol Eve on 21st December.

Throughout the week you can take part in lantern and mask-making workshops, carol singing and storytelling. On Montol Eve itself, there is a festive market, before a series of processions make their way through the town. A fire is lit, with the symbolic ‘burning of the dying sun’ takes place.

Click here to find out more.



5. Lostwithiel Lights Up

Saturday 23rd December // 6pm

There’s lots to see and do at Lostwithiel Lights Up – the celebration begins with the lantern parade, featuring singing and music by local choirs, a samba band and Cornish pipes and drums. After the procession, there’s a candle lit service around the Christmas tree, again with local choirs taking centre stage.

You can get involved too; with samba workshops and a range of printing and lantern-making workshops to create large and small scale lanterns that will be part of the parade!

Click here to find out more.



6. Tom Bawcock's Eve

Saturday 23rd December // 5pm

December 23rd isn’t just the day before Christmas Eve in Mousehole, it’s Tom Bawcock’s Eve!

Legend has it, that Tom was a local fisherman who ventured out in the midwinter weather, after a period of storms had created a famine. His heroism is commemorated each year, with lost of festivities!

The story is re-enacted, surrounded by the famous harbour lights, there is often a lantern parade and the famous stargazy pie is served; a pastry pie with the heads of the fish poking out of the top! For the music lovers, enjoy a special song about Tom’s brave act during the parade, followed with carol singing on the beach.

Click here to find out more.



7. Heligan Night Garden

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell
Until Tuesday 2nd January

Disocer the magical garden trail, exploring woodlands and gardens lit with installations and lanterns. Including badgers, fungi, bees, butterflies, and a family of cheeky Tamworth pigs, this illuminated seasonal trail creates a spectacular experience for all the family!

Click here to find out more.



Joanna Rule

Joanna is a theatre girl, loving all kinds of performance. She particularly enjoys productions telling stories of Cornish heritage and history. You can also find her exploring artists’ studios across Cornwall as part of her role leading Open Studios.