If Elf has taught us anything, it’s that “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”; so get those vocal cords warmed up for a good old-fashioned singalong this month – there are plenty of opportunities in Cambridge.
Gather around the huge Christmas tree at Ely Cathedral (so big it takes five days to decorate!), as Littleport Brass Band take the lead in a community singalong on the 14th. The Cathedral is also hosting a screening of The Snowman with a live orchestral accompaniment in a heartwarming farewell to the festive season on the 30th.
The Leper Chapel, Cambridge’s oldest surviving building, provides an atmospheric backdrop to a Sunday evening of carols
by candlelight on the 15th, or you can also join Cambridge Early Music for spiced wine and estampies (medieval songs) at the Emmanuel United Reform Church on the 12th.
And finally, the biggie: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, aka the service held in the King’s College Chapel on Christmas Eve, aka our city’s yearly chance to dazzle in front of a global audience of millions on the BBC World Service. The queue starts forming at around 7am and tickets cannot be booked in advance unless you’re a member of the college, so arrive early, wrap up warm and prepare for a wait.
If you make it in, you’ll be treated to readings and carols, always beginning with Once in Royal David’s City, and always including one new, specially commissioned carol.