Tag Archives: Lantern parade

Travel diaries -Discovering Africa Sierra Leone – Independence day weekend (lantern Parade)

Am thrilled to be celebrating independence day with my Sierra Leonean friends.  It’s a long weekend and celebrations start with watching the Lanterns at the city centre.

I was not sure what to expect but my host made  a fuss about not taking our phones or valuable’s with us. This made me wonder about the safety. 

I was advised to wear covered shoes to avoid having my toe’s stepped on and to dress down and blend in. No problem! Am 6ft tall and blending is what I do. Lol. 

I kept my dressing simple and put on minimal makeup.

The lantwen show was supposed to start at the Cutting Tree. I am told that this used to be the location of the slave trade. Slaves were taken from Sierra Leone to Banana Island.

The streets were hiving with people. Its like the whole of Freetown was gathered on the street. I would liken this to Nottinghill Carnival except it was in the middle of the night(11pm), there was mess music and more people milling around being very loud. 

I felt very unsettled and just couldn’t get into the grove of things.  I saw lots of kids and was so concerned about there safety. 

After much waiting around we saw 2 poorly constructed floats pass by. ….😩😕😯.

I couldn’t decide if I was more disappointed or confused. At this point I was ready to go.   I was told that through the night various other lanterns/floats would pass and there would be a price for the best float. 

We headed home at approximately 1.30am. The worse part of the night is that I couldn’t take any pictures while out and we came home to NO light !😭😭😭😭

This is a very tired and reluctant Ijay. Nonetheless, I can say I experienced watching the lantern on SL independance day. 

My outfit is pretty basic 

Basic Tee – Primark 

Black high waisted jeans – Dorothy Perkins 

Trainers- Nike 

Kimono -Zara
Thanks for reading to the end. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for regular updates @ijayheavens I post there regularly. 

See you soon. 

X❤

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