Last week, on the 23rd of November, the streets of Teddington were filled with the buzz of excitement as the much awaited Teddington Christmas Festival was back! The festival has been running for more than 15 years now and marks the beginning of the Christmas season in the local community. 


As the darkness of a typical winter day in England began to set in, everyone's spirits were lifted by the switching on of the Christmas lights and the atmosphere was absolutely incredible. 


The streets were jam packed with people all eager to sample the tasty treats and delicacies being sold by local food vendors and artisans and even more excited to start collecting presents from the vibrant stalls. There was live music, an indoor market, children’s rides and so much more. And best of all, many of the traders running the stalls were from local small businesses, and in times like these supporting the people in your community is arguably the best thing that you can do.


The most anticipated event of the evening was by far the lantern procession. Workshops were arranged at ‘Happy Potter’ a local ceramics store for people to come in and make lanterns so that they could get involved in the procession, they even offered Christmas kits for people to make their own homemade baubles which were collected, to be hung up on the Christmas trees on the high street. 


I think it is amazing to see people coming together to celebrate and even better to see everyone making the effort to get involved and take a bit of responsibility in playing their part in making the day phenomenal. A local resident who I met at the event, said “The Teddington lights up festival is always so magical, and I love seeing all of the pretty displays and seeing everyone celebrating together. It really makes Teddington feel like such a close knit community.”


The memories that come with celebrations of this type are priceless, in a world which is constantly becoming more and more digitalised, the preservation of these traditions is essential in maintaining a sense of community.