Brighton’s Burning the Clocks festival brings back ‘In Memory’ lanterns

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Residents of Brighton and Hove will attend festivities for the 25th year of Burning the Clocks.

Brighton and Hove’s Burning the Clocks will offer ‘In Memory’ lanterns as part of their partnership with ARKA Original Funerals this year. The festival takes place every year on 21st December in an evening of reflection for the city, with a procession, bonfire, fireworks, and 25 ‘In Memory’ lanterns giving people opportunity to mourn someone who has died in 2018.

Burning the Clocks has been a longstanding tradition of Brighton and Hove for over two decades to commemorate the winter solstice. The celebration invites residents to promenade the paper and willow lanterns they’ve made through the city before passing them into a huge bonfire on the beach.

© Alexa Clarke-Kent


Cara Mair, director of ARKA Original Funerals said: “Burning the Clocks is a very special event that brings the whole city together on the winter solstice. To support Same Sky for the third year running means a lot to us – just as our lanterns mean something to those who want to celebrate the life of those who have died in the past year.”

Each ‘In Memory‘ package supplied by ARKA includes a lantern decoration session with Same Sky and two places to walk in the parade, followed by a name reading at the bonfire on the beach at the end of the evening.

© Alexa Clarke-Kent


Same Sky, an arts initiative who helped first organise the event in 1993, conceived Burning the Clocks as an antidote to a commercialised Christmas born out of urban ritualistic processions from around 150 years ago. People are invited to invest the lanterns with their wishes, hopes, and fears and then pass them into the fire.

John Varah, artistic director at Same Sky added: “We’re hugely thankful to ARKA for their continued support, which gives 25 families the opportunity to commemorate the life of someone special. Having the help of local sponsors like ARKA, as well as that of the public, is the reason we are able to put on Burning the Clocks each year.”

© Alexa Clarke-Kent


Seaford-based artist, Graham Carter, has produced limited edition prints for the festival under the theme, ‘Remembrance’. This will be his sixth year in a row supporting Burning the Clocks. You can purchase the prints through Same Sky’s crowdfunder page.

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The festival relies entirely on crowdfunding and the support of local businesses to ensure the event returns year after year. Donations on their crowfunder page offer rewards ranging from £10 to £1,000, with the top pledge giving you the chance to light the procession’s eagerly awaited bonfire.

Burning the Clocks takes place on Friday 21 December 2018, 6.30pm. The parade runs from New Road down to the seafront. 

For more information about Burning the Clocks and purchasing an ‘In Memory lantern, visit the Same Sky website. To donate to the Burning the Clocks crowdfunder, visit their page

Graham Carter’s artwork for this year.
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