'It's about getting people together' - Villagers turn Abington Pigotts into living Advent calendar
PUBLISHED: 17:32 15 December 2016 | UPDATED: 17:32 15 December 2016
People in Abington Pigotts are in the midst of a community effort to turn their village into a living Advent calendar.
The Living Advent Window project was originally set up by artist Beth Lievesly in 2013 – and despite Beth’s moving away last year, the annual spectacle is still going strong under the stewardship of Sarah Duckett.
“It’s incredibly popular,” She said. “There aren’t many houses in the village, so I asked people to bookmark their favourite date.
“It makes the whole month feel more festive as there’s an event every day, and it’s about getting people together – an antidote to the commercialisation of Christmas!”
The whole village gets behind the project – and for the ones who can’t be there because of commitments such as work, mum-of-two Sarah updates a blog to show which window has just been unveiled.
“Some people will take a really simple approach, others get hugely creative,” she said.
“There are no real rules – we do try and feature the date in the window, but other than that it’s just express yourself and what Christmas means to you.
“We’ve had a Lego Star Wars window, a winter teddy bears’ picnic, a Van Gogh-inspired collage and giant Quality Street in the past, as well as the more traditional ones.”
There are three windows which are always transformed – one from the village hall, unveiled at the fete on the first Sunday in December, the church on the last Sunday in December, and the big finale is at the village pub on Christmas Eve – when Pig and Abbot owners Pat and Mick Thompson put on a big display and the villagers celebrate with a drink.
“We unveil at 6.30pm,” said Sarah. who has lived in the village for more than seven years.
“About 10 minutes before you can see villagers walking to the window with torches shining.
“I love the sense of anticipation. All the children get excited, and really look forward to seeing the window.
“It’s also an opportunity for the older residents to get out and chat.
“The host window will lay on hot chocolate or mulled wine with some festive treats, and everyone chats and admires the creation.
“By 7pm people start to go home. So it’s not a big event, it’s a simple thing to host and to go to – and it really does make for a cheery evening.”
To follow the blog during Advent see abpigadvent2016.tumblr.com.