Lantern parade Burning the Clocks is back to light up Brighton’s streets on longest night of the year.
Here’s all you need to know about the annual event.
What is Burning the Clocks?
Taking place on the winter solstice Friday, December 21, Burning the Clocks is an annual lantern parade through the streets of Brighton. Participants carry their handmade paper and willow lanterns during the procession, which brings the whole city together to celebrate and reflect on the past year. The event is about welcoming the return of the sun and bringing some celebration to the long, dark nights; hence it takes place on the shortest day of the year. Burning the Clocks was created as an antidote to the excesses of commercial Christmas and as a way to celebrate the festive season regardless of faith, embracing the entire community.
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What time is it and where does it take place?
The parade begins at New Road at 6.30pm and arrives at Madeira Drive at approximately 7.15pm, when lanterns are passed onto the bonfire and the fire display begins. The event finishes at around 8pm. The parade makes its way through North Street, Ship Street, East Street, onto the seafront and along to Madeira Drive for the finale.
How many people usually take part?
The parade features around 2,000 participants and attracts more than 20,000 onlookers.
Do I need to buy tickets?
Burning the Clocks is a free community event, with volunteers collecting donations along the route to help cover costs. Residents can get involved in the parade by purchasing lantern kits for £30 per pack, from local shops HISBE, The Wood Store, The Book Nook and The Royal Pavilion Shop.
How long has the event been going and who runs it?
Created in 1993 by two men in a pub, the event has been an integral part of Brighton’s winter calendar for more than two decades. Burning the Clocks is run by Same Sky, the largest community arts charity in the South East. Same Sky was set up in 1987 and creates imaginative events and workshops to strengthen communities, inspire individuals and brighten people’s lives.
How is the event funded?
Same Sky receives some funding from Brighton and Hove City Council to cover core costs, but the charity is reliant on online crowdfunding and on the support of local businesses to continue its work. This year, as part of the online crowdfunder donors can pledge anything from a £10 to £1,000. In exchange for their support, investors will be rewarded with personalised lanterns, a limited edition Burning the Clocks print by Graham Carter or the privilege of lighting the event’s bonfire. Burning the Clocks is also dependent on the generosity of the general public making donations on the night, to ensure the much-loved event can continue.
Where can I find out more?
To find out more about the event and to participate in the online crowdfunder, visit: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/burning-the-clocks-2018