Arts Derbyshire


Derby Lantern Parade: Lighting up City’s Diversity

More than 500 people of all ages and cultures are expected to join Derby Lantern Parade ahead of the city’s Christmas light switch on event on Saturday November 12.

The lantern parade is a key part of the Derby Season of Light festival, organised by city-based South Asian arts organisation Surtal Arts.

The dazzling spectacular will start at 3.30pm at St Peter’s Cross with an array of dance and music performances from across the world along with specially composed percussion piece performed by the renowned drummers, Dhol Frequency and energetic Chinese Dragon dance performed by DANS Chinese Dance Troup.

At 4pm the performers will be joined by school pupils, community groups and members of the public who will triumphantly hold aloft the traditional Diwali and Chinese lanterns that they have made in workshops across the city.

The lanterns have been made from biodegradable materials including willow and tissue paper and lit with energy-efficient LED lights which will be held up on bamboo sticks.

The schools involved are Da Vinci Academy; Parkview, Allenton, Firs Estate, Grampian, Beckett, Dale, Asterdale and Brookfield primary schools and Alvaston junior school.

They will also be joined in the parade by Dame Morgan Brind who will star in this year’s Derby Arena Christmas pantomime ‘Aladdin’ alongside Santa.

The parade will wind its way to the St Peter Hilton Gardens and the entertainment for the Derby LIVE Christmas Lights switch on event will continue nearby.

Derby Season of Light has included activities, events and performances between September and December coincides with Diwali, Bonfire Night, Hanukkah, Christmas and the preparations for Chinese New Year which all share the common theme of light.

Through this theme of light, the festival has also celebrated the city’s dazzling diversity and cohesion amongst local communities as well as celebrating the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.

Organisers, Surtal Arts, have been working with a wide range of partners including Derby City Council, Derby LIVE, Derby Museums, University of Derby, Déda, Derby Theatre, Air Arts, Fleet Arts, Number Twenty Eight and Belper Town Council, with funding from Arts Council England thanks to National Lottery players.

Surtal Arts’ chair Nisha Nath, who is a celebrated South Asian dance artist, explained that the annual family festival aimed to bring together local communities a shine a light on the diversity across the city.

“Derby is a vibrant home to 182 different cultures and we have reached out to many other communities to make Derby Season of Light and particularly the Lantern Parade a wonderful celebration of our city’s diversity and its one event where it is the people who truly come together creating their own festival in the spirit of friendship and being part of ‘one city’.

“With the difference performances and involvement by a wide range of people of all ages and from across the city, our aim has been to shine a light on how we all share common themes in the different cultural and religious festivals that we celebrate at this time of year.

“Everyone is welcome to come and join the lantern parade on the day but no glass lanterns or real flamed lights are allowed for safety reason.”

To find out more about the other events, activities and performances during Derby Season of Light, please visit

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