Winter Solstice with Sawley Infants

My second involvement with Erewash Festival of Lights was to create some lanterns for The Winter Solstice Event at Erewash Museum, Ilkeston; for this I worked with a group of nursery and reception children at Sawley Infants School. I have to admit the thought of working with 80 nursery children on 1 day and 100 from reception on another was pretty daunting, even tough they were split in to small manageable groups, each dropping in to take their turn in creating the lantern designs. It was a bit of a challenge, but came together really well, all the children got to take part and the end installation fitted in with the event perfectly.

The Lanterns

The circle of lanterns that we created were made up of 8 sun lanterns, representing the the sun’s rebirth and and the seven sabbats in the pagan calendar, with the circle showing the cyclical nature of the year and of  life. In addition the reception groups created 4 lanterns representing The Holly King, Oak King (sometimes represented my mistletoe at the winter solstice) and The Ivy Goddess. Whilst the meaning may have been lost on the children, I still wanted to make them representative of the festival and researched further in to what the winter solstice means to those who celebrate it.

The Event

The end event, organised by Erewash Festival of Lights, looked wonderful, the museum gardens were beautifully lit up; this included work by other artists and community groups as well as our lanterns and finished with a shadow puppet display. The shadow puppet performance told the story of the Oak and Holly King so linking to some of our lanterns.

For more details on The Erewash Festival of Lights visit

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