By Ruth Hazard
Crowds of 20,000 are expected to line the streets for the Burning the Clocks lantern parade which takes place on the year’s shortest day, December 21st. The annual event starts its walk from Church Street at 6pm with an expected finish at Madeira Drive at 8.30pm.
Photo used under creative commons by Smithsonian Institution
The event is suitable for all ages and is free to attend. In the words of Same Sky, the organisers:
“People gather together to make paper and willow lanterns to carry through their city and burn on the beach as a token for the end of the year.
“No money changes hands, no lantern is better for its purpose than any other, all are unique to the maker and precious, but all are given up to be burnt to greet the lengthening days.”
Burning the Clocks combines a fantastic parade with a high quality fire show and fireworks for the whole city. The lantern makers become part of the show as they invest the lanterns with their wishes, hopes, and fears and then pass them into the fire.
If you are planning to join the Burning The Clocks 2011 parade on December 21, you can buy your own lantern kit, and at the same time, help secure the future of the event.
It may be a few days until the 2011 parade but Same Sky, organisers of the festival, are campaigning to save the 2012 event.
Without securing funding this year, Burning The Clocks 2012 will not happen. Same Sky are asking for help to ‘keep Art at the Heart’ of the city and calling for online donations.
A two lantern kit costs £18 (including postage and packaging). The lantern kits are available from the Royal Pavilion Shop, or by sending a cheque payable to Same Sky Ltd to 5 Pavilion Building, Brighton, BN1 1EE. Those ordering kits in this way are asked to include a return address.
For more information on the parade or to make a donation, visit the Burning The Clocks website or call 01273 571106.