Greenwich’s popular lantern parade and Christmas light switch on is happening this week – here’s what you need to know.

Wednesday, November 15 marks the turning on of Greenwich’s Christmas Lights 2023, with a whole line-up of entertainment and activities to kick-start the festive season.

Landmarks like Greenwich’s famous Cutty Sark ship and the market will be illuminated for Christmas, along with the return of the popular annual lantern parade.

We’ve put together everything you need to know about this year's Christmas lights switch on:


Greenwich Market 


Wednesday, November 15

What’s happening?

Between 11am and 6pm, Greenwich Market will be open to shoppers with a range of food and craft stalls.

For the little ones, Santa is set to make an appearance from 4pm in the Grotto located within Greenwich Market.

The lantern parade is set to take place between 4pm and 4:50pm, starting off from the Visitor Centre at the Old Royal Naval College.

News Shopper: Greenwich Market's Christmas lights switch onGreenwich Market's Christmas lights switch on (Image: Greenwich Market)

It will pass through the grounds of the UNESCO World Heritage site, before arriving at the Cutty Sark for the switch on of the historical ship's Christmas lights.

The procession of school children with their handmade lanterns will be joined by the Mayor of Lewisham and live music played by a brass band.

Greenwich Market will also be hosting music and entertainment from 4:15pm until 4:50pm, where there will be a host of competitions, including one for a chance to turn on the Christmas lights.

The parade will then arrive at Greenwich Market, in time to join the festivities for the Christmas lights switch on at 5pm.

News Shopper: The switching-on of the Christmas lights at the Cutty SarkThe switching-on of the Christmas lights at the Cutty Sark (Image: Royal Borough of Greenwich)

After the switch on, the market will be hosting live entertainment including dance performances and live music from brass band Danger Goat.

Councillor Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Equality, Culture and Communities, said: “We know the rising cost of living is an ongoing challenge for everyone, so delivering free, high-quality events for our communities to enjoy is more important than ever.

“The festive season is a great time for our residents to come together as a community and celebrate.

“Enjoy free arts and crafts and support local traders at our Christmas markets in Eltham, Greenwich, Thamesmead and Woolwich and we'll need your help to light up some of our town centres, too!”