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Seaso of Light

6 October - 30 December 2023

Illuminate Your Autumn with Derby Season of Light (DSOL) 2023!


Thank you to the Arts Council and all our partners who made DSOL 2023 possible.  

Derby Season of Light is a celebration of our city’s dazzling diversity.  

Derby is a vibrant home to 182 different cultures and we are proud we’re able to engage so many of those communities to make Derby Season of Light festival happen.  


From 6th October to 30th December, there will be various cultural performances, exhibition and workshops across the city and county. Using the theme of  'climate action' and 'light' DSOL festival aims to educate and empower people especially our children and young people and emerging artists in the city to explore, engage and create  high quality art to raise awareness of the important issue of climate change that poses a significant threat to our civilization and inspire all (participants and audience) to become the agents of change. 


During the period of DSOL many diverse communities of Derby celebrate their cultural events i.e Rabi Al Awwal, Diwali, Bonfire night and Christmas are all in close proximity and where ‘Light’ is the common theme that binds them together.  Using both the 'climate action' and 'light' themes we create a colourful and culturally diverse Lantern Parade that represents friendship and hope for the future. And those are the shared human experiences that we enable us to celebrate city's diversity and inclusivity at this time of year.


We’re proud to say DSOL is soon becoming a staple event in our city’s cultural calendar over the last few years. It’s truly a celebration of community cohesion and artistic collaboration, with every single activity  delivered in partnership with various cultural organisations from across the city and county.  Our exploration of cross-cultural, fusion and forgotten arts always leads to a programme that is inspiring, colourful, (sometimes unusual!) and beautifully inclusive. 

Embracing Diversity and Creativity 

Through art, music, and festivities, we're weaving together the threads of our community, celebrating the rich traditions that make us who we are. This year, we're also delving into the captivating world of rural Indian textile art and the art of recycling, further igniting the spark of creativity.

Prepare to be mesmorised as we spotlight on incredible talent of British Asian young Indian classical musicians performing Diwali special 'Enchanting Raga' in Belper, Derbyshire. We're bridging the gap between mainstream and community arts organizations and venues, creating an inclusive platform that invites everyone to be a part of this wonderful experience.

Shine a light on 'Forgotten Heritage Art'

TFrom 6th October, the spotlight falls on the breathtaking exhibition 'The Hidden Story of Kantha' at Deda. Journey into the heart of rural India through the eyes of She-Kantha, an NGO in Kolkata.  Witness the magic of simple running stitch (Kantha) as it weaves mythological and everyday rural life tales of West Bengal, preserving heritage and empowering women with a voice and self-sufficiency. Come and be part of an evening conversation with Malika Dudeja Varma, the woman behind this extraordinary NGO, She -Kantha.

Try Madhubani art (also Mithila art) online.  This unique is a style of painting practiced in the Mithila region of India and Nepal.

Engaging Workshops and Unforgettable Events 

Bring your family to our family-friendly workshops during half-term, where your children can explore the wonders of intriguing storytelling at Deda, dance, and the art of shadow puppetry. Immerse yourself in a kaleidoscope of Indian dance styles, from classical Kathak to vibrant Bollywood, or craft your own shadow puppet and lantern at our workshops hosted by Quad and Artcore. The pinnacle of the season awaits with the spectacular Derby Lantern Parade on December 2nd.


Derby Lantern Parade  A Parade of Colors and Culture 

We are delighted to be partnering with Derby City Council and Derby Live to combine our Lantern Parade with Festive Derby celebration on 2nd December 2023, adding extra diversity and vibrancy to the sights and sounds of the event.  Join us in making the Derby Lantern Parade a dazzling spectacle, as families, children, and young people from schools and the community unite to light up the night with vibrant lanterns. Experience the magic of diverse performances, from the mesmerizing Chinese Dragon dance to the thunderous beats of the Dhol drum, and from the enchanting world of Bollywood to the high-energy Bhangra dance.


Your Invitation to Inspiring Moments 

We can't wait to welcome you to Derby Season of Light 2023! Be prepared to embark on a journey of cultural discovery, artistic wonder, and heartwarming connections. Join us in celebrating the beauty of light and life – it's a season you won't want to miss!



Join the conversation

When you attend one of our events, we would love to hear from you.  Please tell us  or post your photos and talk about the event on social media.  Do not forget to hashtag us!   #DerbySeasonOfLight     #DSOL2023    #DerbyLanternParade

School workshop & Arts Award

This year 5 (year 6 & 7) primary & secondary schools in Derby will be taking part in lantern making workshops and then all 350 (approx) carrying their lanterns triumphantly in the Derby Lantern Parade, making it colorful and memorable family friendly city wide event.  Being an Arts Award centre, all participating schools have the opportunity to gain Arts Award for their pupils through Surtal Arts.   

Check out all the DSOL workshops, performances and concerts. 


Our volunteers are vital in supporting our work.  We aim to deliver high quality arts for our participants and audiences and make their experiences rewarding and enriching.  We have a range of exciting opportunities for you to get involved in our Derby Season Of Light , and some of which do not require you to have any experience, just a willingness and commitment to help and learn.  It's a chance for you to meet new people, share, learn a new skill and new colourful culture.   If you are interested volunteering for us, please get in touch.

Please join our mailing list to keep updated with all information.

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