A Magical, Thai-Inspired Lantern Festival Is Coming To London’s Royal Docks

Alex Landon Alex Landon - Editor


A Thai lantern festival in London? It’s Wishful thinking…

Or at least, it was until we heard about Wishful. Closing the Join the Docks festival – currently being held out at London’s Royal Docks – Wishful is a magical festival of light, colour, and water, taking place on September 28th. Inspired by the Thai festival of Loi Krathong (which is pretty jaw-dropping, to be honest), the festivities take place both on and off the water, and it looks absolutely dreamy.


Directed by Jeanefer Jean-Charles – who helped to coordinate the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic opening ceremonies – Wishful unfolds in several stages. First, you’ll find a huge, illuminated mechanical garden waiting to be explored along the shoreline. Impressive as it is, it’s merely the aperitif that’ll whet your appetite for the main course. At 8pm, a carnival procession will lead festival-goers down to a viewing platform, which offers the perfect place to see the waterborne beauty unfold.


Floating wishing shrines, giant gliding swans, and an “operatic moon goddess” will all take to the waters of Silvertown as part of Wishful. Excitingly, you can pitch in and help, by joining a workshop to help create the beautiful illuminated lanterns – there’s one on September 21st, and two on the day of the festival.


The whole shebang ends in a lovely fireworks display, which honestly sounds like the dreamiest way to round off summer 2019. The weather may not exactly be Thai (more’s the pity), but Wishful will certainly do its best to transport you to Chiang Mai!

Find out more from their website.

Also published on Medium.

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