I love that london is so festive and i love to see festivals, markets and shows where hoards of people come together and enjoy themselves.
The southbank’s winter festival is such one place. Until the 7th january 2013 you’ll be treated to buzzing christmas stalls, food markets, festive events and mulled wine. London, in the winter, is at its best when it’s cold and sunny. Saturday was a rather mild day and, for once, i was greatful it was dark in the late afternoon when i had a couple of hours to go down to take some photographs.
Be sure to check out the website for upcoming free events and festivals as, for example, the 3 days real food festival finished yesterday.
I don’t remember seeing so many people in one complex since the olympics back in the summer. Stalls were buzzing, families with kids were in abundance and as for food stalls, well….. except for the real food festival, there was everything from crepes to doughnuts, waffles, stews and sausages with everything in between.
I was glad to see masterchef winner’s wahaca’s southbank experiment. A pop up restaurant built from 8 recycled shipping containers, arranged on 2 overhanging levels. Apparently they also popped up with a street food cart!
Stalls or better, little wood huts were brimming full and everyone seemed in a festive spirit.
Oh hello, some wood hut decoration.
The carousel was in full swing with queues forming.
The view on a clear evening is spectacular and it never seizes to amaze me!
I love the lit up concrete buildings.
Now, these 2 fellas below told me that there were going to be around 1000 santas congregating in trafalgar square. ‘Sure, i thought to myself’, pull the other one, as they were already heavily tipsy!’ Little did i know that they spoke the truth.
Apparently it’s called the santacon. Their website says the following:
What is Santacon?
It is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious celebratory parade of Christmas cheer, goodwill, and fun. It is not a membership organisation, just a traditional event in London, created by whoever wants to take part. Originally called the Santathon it was changed to Santacon due to the similarity with other events of that name taking place in other cities. Nevertheless there are customs, and veteran Santas have put together this evolving guide of how to make it work well. There is no particular reason to dress up in Santa suits, run around town, give gifts, sing songs, have strangers sit on our laps, and decide who is naughty or nice – but it’s a lot of fun – so Santa does it anyway. Everyone loves Santa and Santa loves everyone!
For santacon’s rules and reminders, do click here! Fascinating stuff!
I arrived in trafalgar sqaure far too early but couldn’t stay on. To be honest, I was quite glad to leave, as more and more ambulance sirens were heard and i bet that there wasn’t one sober santa anywhere to be found!
It’s not all about christmas. It was also hanukkah. In honour, each year there is a giant menorah at trafalgar square that gets lit. The lighting of the menorah took place on saturday 8th december and the menorah remained in place until yesterday 16th december. I love that the menorah is being erected close to the christmas tree for a truly multi-cultural winter celebration!
How was everyone’s weekend? Did you visit christmas markets, do your christmas shopping, go to festivities, parties, festivals?
With all these festivities, let’s not forget the tragic school shooting in Conneticut last week and those families who will not be celebrating. A letter circulated on twitter, entitled: i am adam lanza’s mother. If you haven’t seen it or had a chance to read it, do so. It’s truly heartbreaking!
Next week is christmas. next week i go on holiday. Yay! Happy monday. Do come and visit back here on thursday x