19 December 2016

Burning the Clocks: Brighton, ablaze with magic

burning the clocks brighton

Away with Christmas consumerism and pre-New Year countdowns! In Brighton, England, to mark the winter solstice, the clocks go up in smoke. Literally.


It’s called Burning the Clocks, an annual festival held in the city to celebrate the arrival of winter.


The event was first held in 1993 and takes place every 21 December, regular as clockwork.


Lanterns and puppets are made by hand from paper and willow bearing the image of a clock, a symbol of the inexorable march of time and the end of another year – it’s a fine way to keep traditional crafts and ceremonies alive.


Then, during the evening festivities, Brighton erupts with concerts and live performances. People throng the streets to the rhythm of music, parading with their home-made lanterns to the beach. There, amid street artists and musicians, they set the lanterns and models ablaze in a huge bonfire that lights up the waterfront of England’s most famous seaside resort.