The Dickens Festival: Deventer

After finding Deventer on a random city hopping day and hearing about the mysterious Dickens Festival that would be happening in the upcoming weeks, we knew that we had to come back to this beautiful town.

So on the 18th day of December, cold and close to snow, we merrily made our way back, completely unaware of the magic about to engulf us.

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We waited in the freezing cold for close to two hours.

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And had only gluwein, laughter and fancy dressed guards to keep us company.

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Eventually, we made it in. Of course, we had no expectations. All we knew was that we all loved Charles Dickens. That was why we were here.

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But nothing prepared us for what we were about to experience.

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An entire town completely transformed into a 19th century novel. Deventer hardly looked the same. Thousands of fairy lights surrounded us, lining the streets. The smell of warm roasting chestnuts wafted through the air. Famous storybook characters coming to life with locals dressed as Oliver Twist, Scrooge and Mr Pickwick, just wandering about and minding their business.

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Little children posed as thieves whilst others pretended to be on their merry way, walking to school.

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Women protested for their rights.

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Dirty vagabonds chased after us.

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We saw the snooty upper class and women shouted at us for wearing strange hats.

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Christmas carols were sung along street sides.

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Some were even lucky to have received a kiss under the mistletoe.

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We found the frightful grave of Mr Scrooge and his mourning widow upon a hilltop.

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And unexpectedly, a little sleet started to fall.

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We often wander if magic still exists in the world today and truthfully, it’s somewhat rare that we ever find it. But I’d like to think that amidst our searching for something, this time, on this 18th day of December, it was the magic that had finally found us.

“That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.”

– Great Expectations

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Posted by

Hi World! I'm Shal - an environmental microbiologist, writer, teacher and artist from Durban, South Africa. I've spent the last two years traveling and teaching Chemistry and English to young kids in Asia. Life of Shal was founded as a way to share travel experiences, tips and other worldly magic with you! Join me on my journey!

6 thoughts on “The Dickens Festival: Deventer

    1. It was absolutely beautiful. The festival is on every year so if you ever get a chance to find Deventer, try to visit around Christmas time! It’s much more magical! x

      Liked by 1 person

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