Burning the Clocks: Get behind city’s winter solstice parade

The Burning the Clocks lantern parade (Photograph: Ray Gibson)
The Burning the Clocks lantern parade (Photograph: Ray Gibson)

As the largest community arts charity in the South East, at Same Sky we organise some of the city’s biggest public events including the cherished Brighton Festival Children’s Parade and Otherworld.

Currently, we are preparing for Burning the Clocks - the much-loved annual Brighton event which marks the winter solstice on December 21.

John Varah

John Varah

A lively celebration of the turning of the year and a time for reflection and thought, Burning the Clocks serves as an antidote to the excesses of the commercial Christmas. Although Same Sky receives some funding from Brighton and Hove Council, we are reliant on the support of local businesses and online crowdfunding campaigns to ensure that the event can continue to exist.

At Burning the Clocks, using kits we’ve provided, people assemble paper and willow lanterns and parade them through the city from New Road to the seafront, and then pass them to a blazing bonfire as a token of the year’s end.

More than 20,000 event goers congregate at Madeira Drive to listen to music and watch the impressive pyrotechnic firework display on the beach as the event draws to a close.

Each year, over 2,000 people buy lantern kits and take part in the parade. Open to all, lantern kits, which include four parade wristbands, can be purchased from Brighton Pavilion, hiSbe supermarket, the Wood Store at Preston Barracks, and Book Nook in Hove for £28.

To help fund the event, we have just launched our new crowdfunder. Supporters can buy exclusive gifts, including personalised pre-made lanterns, VIP tickets, and the privileged role of lighting the bonfire at the end of the parade.

At Same Sky, via all of our events, our main goal is to bring people together through art, encouraging equality and belonging. We work with people from vulnerable, hard-to-reach groups in the community who may have never been involved with art before, so we look to develop their creative skills and talents, and show them how art can change their everyday lives. Through creative workshops with teachers, children, and community groups, we also pass on our passion and skills, encouraging them to stage their own artistic events and parades.

Ultimately, we also want to create moments of magic that will feed the imagination, and there’s nothing more magic than Burning the Clocks.

For the chance to donate and support this year’s Burning the Clocks, visit: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/burning-the-clocks-2017

John Varah is the artistic director at Same Sky.

This article is the part of a series of Christmas features by Fugu PR showcasing the work of local charities.