December 21st is well known as being the winter solstice and generally being the shortest day of the year and longest night in terms of hours of daylight. The day has historical ties to many of the world’s different beliefs and cultures. If you happen to be in Brighton, England on the 21st, you can join in with thousands of other people for the annual Burning The Clocks festival.

This event features a lantern parade which lights up the darkness of winter along the historical streets of the seaside city. The event is open to anybody who’s interested and there are lantern-making workshops in place.

Burning the Clocks is seen as an alternative to the ever-growing commercialism of Christmas. Participants join together to create willow and paper lanterns and carry them through the city and then burn them on the beach as a token to the year’s end. The lantern makers give up their lanterns along with their hopes, wish and fears for the new year as they burn them in the fire.

All lanterns are unique and precious and are burned to greet the longer days that follow the winter solstice. After the family parade is held there’s a top-notch fireworks show over the city. The parade usually attracts about a thousand participants with lanterns and another 20,000 who take in the spectacle.

For more information on the Burning the Clocks Festival in Brighton, England, visit


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