The annual Lantern festival held at Advent is a very special date in the Annan Calendar. Advent is a time of moving through the darkness towards the yearly rebirth of the light, when the days begin to grow longer.

Our traditional Advent Festival is held on the last school day before the 1st December. This year that falls on the 30th November. Helen D’Ascoli works with the Elder children to prepare a festival space formed from a spiral path of evergreens.

Every child in the school makes a lantern and brings it to the festival. We sing our special advent songs and the keepers of the light (2 Elders) lead each child to the centre of the spiral path where they place a gift on the tree.

At the end of the festival the tree in the centre is lit and the children stand in the semi-darkness entranced by the glow of the beautiful lanterns as parents join the singing.

This year we are in lockdown, but that won’t stop us holding our festival, it just means it won’t have an audience of parents. We want to involve parents in this very special event and have come up with two ways to make this happen.

Firstly, the children have been preparing their lantern paper in school using traditional wet on wet painting techniques. This paper will then come home and we are asking parents to follow the instructions on Blick! to build the lantern with your child. This will mean parents can feel part of the lantern making process.

Secondly, on the day of the lantern Festival itself, we have booked someone to come and film the festival for us and he will use photos taken in school and at home to make a short video to share on Blick and the website. We really hope that this beautiful record of the festival will be something you can treasure at home and share with family to make up for missing out on being there in person.