Burning the Clocks

Published: Friday 8th Dec 2017

Written by: Elliot Hatt

On 21st December a truly unique annual event takes place in Brighton to mark the shortest day of the year. The Burning the Clocks festival sees locals come together to make paper and willow lanterns which are then carried in a parade of light down to the sea and passed onto a beach-based bonfire, accompanied by music and a firework display. This celebration of the Winter Solstice is seen as a token of the year’s end and of ushering in the new.

Burning the Clocks has been held annually since 1994 and attracts crowds up to 20,000 strong. Not only is the festival a mark of the passing of time, but it is also intended to be an antidote to the an increasingly commercialised Christmas. This event brings Brighton’s vibrant community together during the festive period, regardless of individual faith or creed, and in this way it celebrates the diversity which makes the city what it is.

Burning the Clocks provides the opportunity for you to exercise some creative flair, but fear not, the lantern making kits which are available for purchase mean you don’t have to be a Picasso to get involved! Many people opt to spectate rather than get designing, so whichever you decide to do you can be assured that you will be seeing a truly memorable spectacle.

Like so many of the other great festivals and events that are held in and around Brighton each year, including Brighton Pride, Lewes Bonfire Night, and the Fringe Festival, Burning the Clocks is just another example of why the city is such a fun and interesting place to live and visit. This is definitely something you want to see if you are having a seaside Christmas holiday this year!


Elliot Hatt



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