One of my favourite festivals of the year is always the Lantern Festival in Belgrave. It marks the shortest day of the year and from then on I start looking forward to longer days. It’s also a great night of celebration where all the community comes out. You can parade your lantern whether it’s big or small and there are so many amazingly creative interpretations. But how do you have a Lantern Festival in the time of COVID-19?
This year the festival will be reimagined. From June 20 (the longest night of the year) to July 05, for two weeks, lanterns will blaze in shop front windows and sidewalks of the Belgrave township.
In place of the traditional Belgrave Lantern Parade that would usually attract over 7,000 visitors, the 2020 Belgrave Lantern Festival has been reimagined in response to COVID-19 restrictions, keeping the Yarra Ranges community tradition of celebrating the beginning of winter alive and alight.
This festival of light, a public artwork showcasing glowing light installations of lanterns made by local artists and the community will symbolise the resilience, unity and strength of purpose of communities across the hills.
Atop Dandenong Ranges and across Hills townships, we are responding to the communities collective voice and overwhelming passion for connection and exchange, by encouraging our local community to celebrate and join in the glow with homemade lanterns, displaying inside shop front windows, on sidewalks and peppered in the front yards and driveways.
For the self-described, ‘creative and quirky’ townships, meeting and matching the recent challenges has meant turning setbacks into opportunities, inviting new ideas and connecting together at a completely new level. There is shared understanding that moving forward means moving as one. Moving forward means inspiring confidence in the community. Moving forward means thinking differently, seizing the occasion and making a new mark.
- Dates: Sat 20 June — Sun 5 July
- Cost: Free
- Location: Dandenong Ranges
- Public Art Installation — Burwood Highway, Belgrave
- Pop up lanterns in Hills Townships — Participating artist collectives and venues in Upwey, Tecoma, Kallista, The Patch, Olinda and Sassafras.
- Community participation — Own business, home, driveway and street