On Saturday evening the annual Festival of Light was held in Girvan. I had been building up to this as a big part of the festival is the procession of hundreds of children from one end of Girvan to the beach front and the sea; each child has a self made lantern. In special after lessons classes in school or at workshops held in the town these wood and thick paper lanterns, each with a candle within to light it up, are assembled and then sent home for the big night. My eldest ‘The Thinker’ had made a lantern, as he has done since he began school, while my middle and youngest had not. So after dinner we set out wrapped up to the nines against the cold for a couple of hours of unique fun and community spirit.
Girvan is not a big town but it still amazes me how many children it contains. As the crowd began to build I lost count at maybe four hundred youngsters plus the same again or more of adults. There must have been easily a couple of hundred lit lanterns which on top of the ones created by the kids had a dozen or so much larger lanterns in the shape of birds, windmills and other structures. The weather was kind, dry, no wind and not really even that cold (I remember 2009 when the ice formed on my coat as I stood watching!). It took about half an hour to assemble the ‘battalion’ to marching orders and to get us under way to the sound of a drum based band. The procession made good time through the town and to the beach front where a large crowd was waiting for the next part of the evening…the fireworks!
It was not easy to get images at the time of the fireworks as not only was it pitch black but the whizz pops and bangs are hard to capture. The picture above is fairly good taken by my darling wife. It shows the fireworks exploding over the water plus the display on the beach. Each year a series of wooden structures are built on the sand and then to music and video display are set alight. It is a great show and lasts for about fifteen minutes. My children loved it and cheered and wooped as the fires raged and drums hammered all to the staccato cracks and booms of coloured lights in the sky.
All in all it was a fine way to spend a couple of hours and in an age of austerity it was excellent to see the town put on a show that is all paid for by the people themselves by donation. Here is to next year…if you are near, then come on by!