Saturday, 21 December 2013


How long does a custom have to have been established before it becomes a tradition?  Is 20 years long enough for an annual event?  Because that is how long the people of Brighton have been marking the shortest day of the year with a ceremony known as Burning the Clocks.  This is what the organisers, Same Sky, have to say about it:
Taking place on the winter solstice, this fantastical procession brings magic to the streets, with a stream of luminous lanterns and a spectacular 2,000-strong parade.
When the winter carnival has wound its way to the beach, people pass their handmade paper and willow lanterns – filled symbolically with their hopes and dreams – into a blazing bonfire and prepare for the spectacular fire show and firework display.
Held on the shortest day (longest night) of the year, this growing tradition marks the passing of time by ‘burning the clocks’ and welcoming in the new sun. With over 20,000 spectators, this popular event turns the spotlight away from the more commercial side of Christmas and lights up the darkest of winter nights.
Burning the Clocks was created by Same Sky in 1994 as a way for the whole community to enjoy the festive season, regardless of faith or creed. Each year a new theme, related to the concept of time, is incorporated into the event to bring new and exciting elements.
As part of the event, Same Sky carries out free lantern-making community workshops for disadvantaged local people. Some of those we work with are homeless young people, single fathers, and young carers. We encourage them to make something they are proud of, fire them up with creative passion and bring them together with their community through the shared experience of art.
And here is a video of last year's event:

The view from the bedroom this morning doesn't augur too well for this evening's festivities.

1 comment:

#1Nana said...

Looks like a fun activity. It would take something spectacular to get me out at night during this cold, dark time of year.