The spectacular ‘City of Lights’ procession in Truro marks that city’s official lead up to Christmas. As the temperature dropped and the rain mercifully held off, we dropped by to take in the sights and sounds of this year’s celebration themed ‘expect the unexpected’. The procession is an annual celebration with a Celtic flavour that heralds the approach of the festive season. The cobbled streets of the Cornish capital are lit up by paper lanterns, some small but others are huge shaped in the form of all kinds of magical ‘creatures’. This is a very popular event in Cornwall and the streets of one of Britain’s smallest cities were packed, lining the route sometimes five deep onto the pavements.
There was a real sense of anticipation in the city, a family feel to proceedings with excited children pondering what type of creatures they were likely to see this year. They were not disappointed, the lanterns were stunning representing weeks if not months of hard work amongst locals in the lead up to this one evening. As the sound of bagpipes and drummers reverberated around a city dominated by its cathedral, suddenly dragons, dinosaurs and even a ballerina lantern lit up what was an unusually cold evening in Truro. The procession coincided with the switch on of the city’s Christmas lights which added to the magic of an evening which precedes a series of weekly festive markets held in the lead up to Christmas. With the backdrop of imposing cathedral, lit up along with the lanterns and fairy lights, very soon everyone forgot about the cold and thoroughly enjoyed the early dose of Yuletide spirit!
Christmas is a particularly special time of year in Cornwall and the City of Lights festival is one of a number of events in the lead up to the special day. Normally associated with holidays in the summer months, Cornwall is a fantastic location for a short break or maybe week’s holiday over Christmas itself. Devoid of the throngs during July and August, this is a great time of year to explore once of the most naturally beautiful counties in Britain. During November and December the very best of local arts, crafts and of course food provide the focus for markets and celebrations across the county. Truro itself bustles with a wide range of eclectic shops and fine restaurants. Within very easy reach of both the north and south coasts, Truro provides a great base for exploring this part of England’s beautiful South West.