Make your own lantern for Illuminate 2020

Oct 28, 2020

People in the towns and villages linked to the Mayflower story are being invited to get creative with our lantern toolkit and light up communities this November.

People living in the towns and villages that make up the region where many of the prominent figures in the Mayflower story came from are being invited to take part in a mass lantern-making event to mark Thanksgiving.

This November, the Pilgrim Roots’ region’s annual Illuminate events commemorating local links to the Mayflower Pilgrims’ story will be a bit different, like so many other things that have changed recently.

For the past few years, fantastic parades of lanterns have taken place in Boston, Gainsborough, Retford and Worksop, but sadly, it will not possible this year.

Instead, people are being invited to get creative at home using a specially designed toolkit full of templates, ideas and inspiration for making your own lantern.

Download instructions and templates here

Display your lit lantern in a window at home on the evening of Thursday 26 November (the date of Thanksgiving), and share a photo on social media tagging #OneSmallCandle to be part of the commemorations and to join others across Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire and beyond, connected by a shared heritage.

Pilgrim Roots partners in Gainsborough, Boston and North Nottinghamshire are joining together to mark the commemoration on the same evening, by asking people to light up their communities with lanterns displayed in windows to give thanks in our own special way for the things that are important to us – what will you give thanks for?

“We are deeply disappointed that our Illuminate parades will not take place in the same way this year,” said Anna Scott, Mayflower 400 Officer at West Lindsey District Council and Chair of the Pilgrim Roots partnership. “It is a highlight in our events calendar but it is important that we look after the safety of the public.

“We’re delighted that we are able to carry on with our event in this form. Although it may be a little different, we’re looking forward to seeing what creations people come up with at home, bringing our communities together and lighting up the streets of our towns.”

Nick Jones, Director of Transported, the Arts Council England funded Creative People and Places programme in Boston, added: “Boston have led the way in developing the Illuminate parade in the Pilgrim Roots region since 2015. While we’re unable to parade this year, we’re pleased to be able to lead the One Small Candle campaign in Boston where we will also be exhibiting 1620 lanterns and holding the ‘Boston Blooms’ fire garden on 26th and 27th November."

The 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage from England to America, which took some of the Pilgrims from the Pilgrim Roots region on a historic journey, was in September. Gainsborough, Boston and North Nottinghamshire are partners in the national Mayflower 400 programme, connecting places across the UK linked to the story, and in the regional Pilgrim Roots partnership of places where many Pilgrims came from.

The annual Illuminate commemoration is inspired by a quote from Pilgrim leader William Bradford, who wrote: “as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many”, reflecting on the Pilgrims’ journeys and life experiences.

West Lindsey District Council are leading the ‘One Small Candle’ campaign for this year's Illuminate in Gainsborough as part of the town's Arts Council England-funded Mayflower 400 cultural programme. Transported and Boston Borough Council are leading activities in Boston, made possible through funding from Arts Council England and Boston Town Area Committee. Bassetlaw Christian Heritage are co-ordinating activity in North Nottinghamshire supported by funding from Bassetlaw District Council.

How to take part:

1. Make your lantern
Take a look at some of our inspiring lantern creations, made using things you have at home. Download instructions and templates here

Follow the instructions to decorate a clear jar or container, pop in an LED tealight and put it in a window on Thursday 26 November. Need some inspiration? Check out our 'how to' video on the Discover Gainsborough link above.

2. Send us a photo!
We’d love to see your creations - post a video or photo of your lantern on social media on 26th November. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at Pilgrim Roots, Transported Art and Discover Gainsborough.

3. Be part of something bigger!
Include the hashtag #OneSmallCandle with your post – and see what others have made too! How many lanterns will we be able to count on the night - 102 (the number of Mayflower passengers)? 400 (the anniversary)? 1,620 (the voyage date)? Or even... 2,020?!

For regular updates follow @PigrimRoots @Discovergains or @TransportedArt on Facebook or Instagram; or find us on Facebook.

• Gainsborough:
• Boston:


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