Lantern Parade

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Name given to a festival of floats that in Freetown marked Eid-ul-Fitri, the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan. It is said to have been introduced to Freetown by Daddy Maggay from Banjul in the 1930s and at first only small hand-held lanterns seem to have been used, but it evolved into a torchlight procession through the city of large motorised carnival floats carrying elaborately designed structures in tissue paper, wood and wire. During the 1970s and 1980s fierce competition developed between different lantern groups, such as the different Odelay societies (q.v.), to win the prize for building the best 'lantern'.