Toronto Winter Solstice Festival – Music, Costumes and Fire!
If you’re in Toronto the third week of December, you’re going to want two things. First, you’ll be craving relief from the pre-Christmas shopping madness. Secondly, you’ll be searching for a sign that light will return to the skies. In Toronto, December means it’s time to join the Kensington Market Winter Solstice Festival and parade.
This is the break you need to escape the commercial frenzy and the fear of eternal darkness. It’s the time to celebrate the return to warmth and longer days with fire, music and festivities.
The Winter Solstice Festival parade is perfect for all ages. We’ve followed the parade many times, sometimes by ourselves, other times with friends and young children.
The Anarchist Heart of Toronto
Kensington Market is Toronto’s downtown free-thinking, left-wing, anarchist heart. It’s taken in waves of immigrants for over 100 years. At one time it was the Jewish Market where you could have a live chicken slaughtered while you wait. Now it’s a United Nations of butchers, fruit and vegetable markets, cheese mongers, restaurateurs, vintage clothing shops, musicians, actors, students, pagans and activists.
Follow the Parade to the End for the Big Fire
So it’s only natural that Kensington is home to the Winter Solstice Festival parade with its carnival-style boho horn bands, drummers and percussionists, giant animal and fairyland costumes and most of all, fire. Fire swallowers, flamethrowers, fire jugglers and finally the big sacrificial fire in the park.
This year, the ouroboros, the snake that eats its tail was set alight. It represents the infinite cycle of nature’s endless creation and destruction, life and death in one big circle. An appropriate way to brighten the longest night of the year.
Join In the Solstice Festival Fun – Here are the Details
Go to the Red Pepper Spectacle Arts site to confirm details. On December 21, at 6:30 P.M., meet at the corner of Oxford and Augusta. The nearest main intersection is College and Spadina. Take the College or Spadina streetcars.
The parade departs at 7:00 P.M. Don’t be late!
Buy a Lantern For the Parade
You can buy lanterns with candles on the steps of St. Stephen’s Community House, at 91 Bellevue Avenue between 5:00 and 6:30 P.M. Get your lantern, have something to eat and then get ready to parade.
The Kensington Market Winter Solstice Festival and parade is presented by Red Pepper Spectacle Arts.
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