Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dickensian Christmas Festival

On the first weekend in December, we returned to Rochester for the Dickensian Christmas Festival. And promptly froze our bums off. And our fingers, toes, noses, legs, hands, etc.

This, from the council website:
Packed with shopping stalls, Rochester becomes a feast of Victorian delights. There are lamp-lit parades, carols to be sung, Father Christmas to be met and even a guaranteed snowfall, framed by Rochester’s fairytale cathedral and castle. You’ll also see some familiar, fabled characters from Dickens’ much-loved stories.
Rochester’s Dickensian Christmas has been held annually since 1988, which is fitting as Medway held such a special place in Charles Dickens’ life and work. The writer spent five of his childhood years in Medway from 1817 to 1822. He returned for the last few years of his life, dying at Gads Hill in 1870.”

The Festival takes place each year in early December, and includes market stalls, best costume competitions, mulled wine, and candlelight parades.

Heh heh don't you love this?
"1st Class Catering" are selling popcorn, lollies, candy floss, and hot chocolate...
Our Greengrocer friends Mike and Barb visited on the Saturday and highly recommended it to us, so we went along mid-Sunday afternoon. We intended to stay for the candlelight parade, but after 2 hours wandering around the stalls and listening to Victorian street entertainment, we decided we couldn’t stand around for another half an hour in the cold to await the beginning of the parade. 

It was a wonderful feeling to trudge through the busy streets in the falling darkness, all rugged up in winter woollies, the smell of mulled wine in the air, and groups of people huddled around cobbled street corners. It certainly felt very Victorian. Christmas, especially a Dickensian one, over this side of the globe truly has a magical feel to it.

View over the Medway from a park up a hill, where our car was parked.
(Click to enlarge)

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