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Penzance prepares Montol masks and a 'river of fire'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 18, 2012

  • Dylan Grigg, left, and Chyna Watson wear their masks with pride. Maya Hartles, 4, was one of the youngest to take part in the workshop

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More than 100 lanterns will help form rivers of fire through a Cornish town as an ancient festival gets under way later this week.

Montol is celebrated on December 21 in Penzance and aims to banish the bleakness of the chilly midwinter.

A mask and lantern-making workshop was held at the weekend to make the glowing devices which will light up the streets of the town during the festival's iconic procession.

Helen Musser, one of the organisers, said the turnout had been very strong, with some students even travelling from Penryn to take part. She said: "We were extremely busy. We had over 70 people sign in and about 40 lanterns were made which will be added to the ones already done.

"I think we will have about 130 lanterns lighting the streets, which will be fantastic."

Montol, an ancient Cornish word, is based on Christmas and midwinter traditions that took place between Advent and Plough Monday in January.

The Rivers of Fire lantern parade will take place on Montol Eve, December 21.

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