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Burning the Clocks - Sunday 21st December 2014

Written by Abi Radford on

Burning the Clocks, which was set up by Same Sky – Brighton’s community art charity, has been a successful winter solstice festival in Brighton since 1994. This year the event will take place between 6:30pm and 8pm on Sunday 21st December. The event, which happens on the shortest day (longest night) of the year celebrates the passing of time and the welcoming of a new year. Without the focus on Christmas it is a way for the whole community to enjoy the festive season, regardless of faith. Burning the Clocks is a lovely 'family welcoming' festival to get involved in and over 20,000 people now turn out to watch!

Burning the Clocks starts with a fantastic procession of paper and willow lanterns which winds its way through the streets of Brighton. As part of the event Same Sky carries out free lantern making workshops in local community groups including homeless young people and young carers. The organisers say that if you would like to take part in the parade then you can purchase a lantern kit (please see the official website for details) and will have to arrive at the Corn Exchange at 5pm to have your lantern lit and get positioned for the parade.

The procession ends at the beach with a huge bonfire, spectacular fire show and firework display. The lanterns are put into the bonfire and the lantern carriers are encouraged to place their wishes, hopes and fears into the fire with them. (I think this is a great twist on New Year’s resolutions – which rarely are stuck to anyway!) There is a lot to see on the night and many people wear costumes with a clock face on the front to signify the passing of time. The event focusses on a different theme each year and this year the focus will be on the The City – so look out for some fantastic lit buildings made by artists. Additionally, artist Graham Carter has produced a poster to go with this year’s festival which incorporates the feel of the event with Brighton’s city landmarks. The poster is on sale to raise money for the event.

Make sure you are in the right place at the right time in order to witness as much of the event as possible. The Parade will start at New Road at 6:30pm and arrive at Madeira Drive at approximately 7:15pm where the bonfire and the fire show will take place. On the website below you can find a map of the direction the parade will take so that you can follow it around Brighton.

This is a much recommended festival to visit and really captures the atmosphere of the city at the time of year.

For more information about the event, how to buy a lantern kit and the charity Same Sky visit this website.

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Abi Radford

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