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Last week, I mentioned Red Pepper Spectacle Arts’ annual Kensington Winter Solstice parade, formerly called the Festival of Lights, in Kensington Market. Here’s a selection of pics I took in Alexandra Park, where parade participants – toting handmade paper lanterns – congregated around a gigantic papier-mâché hand and a colourful collection of talented musicians and dancers.

The celebration was filled with dancing, music and loads of fabulous handmade lanterns, including this cute coon.

One of the cutest lanterns of the evening! Now, this is a raccoon I wouldn't mind meeting in the middle of the night. I couldn't take my eyes off him, all glowing blue (my fave hue – it's true!) and mischievous looking.

About half an hour into the festivities at Alexandra Park, along came the dancers carrying lit torches. They formed a ring around the giant papier-mâché hand. I should have known what they were gonna do next!

As the dancers were readying the torches, the crowd went wild, waving and dancing and hollering. Even more lanterns seemed to pop up!

Then the smoke started...

And suddenly the papier-mâché hand, which was holding a heart shape, was ablaze, and cheers spread across the crowd like wildfire. (Pfft. I had to!!)

Sparks were flying, the crowd got even more excited, and the celebration culminated in an awesome light show and drumming circle.