My Dumfries Diaries wouldn’t be complete without a photo account of Big Burns Supper carnival, the Europe’s largest winter festival that takes place in Dumfries in January to celebrate Robert Burns’ life, his spirit and Scottish culture.
Last year I had a bad cold, and John and I couldn’t make it to see the lantern parade though the town centre. So I couldn’t imagine the scale of the festivities and the amount of care, imagination and effort invested in it by organisers, art directors and participants.
This year I was dazzled by the variety of lantern shapes that flooded the streets of Dumfries – sea creatures, birds, dragons, insects and teapots – with which Doonhamers came up. Instead of 2,015 planned lanterns to mark UNESCO Year of Light there were 3,000! 10,000 people came out for Burns night carnival, 4,000 alone actively taking part in the parade.
Giant interactive puppets looked impressive, so were the whimsical costumes of dancers and singers, and the darkly sober carrot funeral float that drew attention to environental and farming issues.
I wanted my photographs to reflect these vibrant colours and the strong festive communal buzz generated by this spectacular event.
The video highlights of the televised lantern parade might be of interest for the ‘who is who’ commentary.