Brighton’s Burning of The Clocks

by Jenna
Brighton burning of the clocks

Every year on the winter solstice 2,000 gays and non gays parade around Brighton with paper lanterns in a glorious procession. The lanterns symbolise their hopes and dreams so it’s rather funny that at the end everyone chucks their lantern onto a bonfire and watch as they go up in smoke. A bonfire, I might add, that takes for fucking ever to get started because all of the battery powered lights need to be taken out of the lanterns.

The Procession

Apart from the annoying parents shouting at their children to “hold the bloody lantern up properly” the procession was full of people playing drums, people dressed as trees and some lovely paper lanterns that people had clearly gone to a lot of trouble to make. From steam punk characters to Chinese dragons and Hindu elephant God Ganesha to an unfinished Taj Mahal, the lanterns were actually a lovely sight.

When I first read about the burning of the clocks I didn’t see the “L” so thought it was a 1970’s feminist festival where we all burn cocks. I was mightily disappointed but then I saw a large red rooster paper lantern so although there were no actual willies on fire at least one cock was going to be burnt.

The Crowd

Aren’t kids great? I love them, can’t get enough of their whining, crying and getting in the way. What’s especially great about kids is their parents with all their fussing and parenting, it really makes for a fun evening out. At one point in the evening a mother was taking a picture of her many offspring and she said “everyone smile and say solstice” oh it was toe curlingly cringing. 

Although it was hard to move through the 20,000 plus crowd it wasn’t as busy as it could’ve been; however, Brighton has a large drunk/druggy population and many of them were pushing through the crowds so we kept a tight hold of our valuables while enjoying the Amsterdam-like smell in the air.

The Refreshments

The important part of any event is the grub. We both had a cheese burger and chips, which wasn’t bad but there was no mayo and the ketchup was just red vinegar so it was a bit of a shit storm. Very disappointing. Along Brighton seafront was a lot of stalls selling overpriced lightsabers and refreshments like candy floss, doughnuts and mulled wine. If I wanted my red wine boiled with sticks and twigs in it then I’d do it for a quarter of the price back at home thank you very much. 

The Uber back to the station

We live in the country now so Uber is now a novelty (we feel bad about how much we took it for granted in Croydon), there’s only a few trains an hour to where we live so we decided to get an Uber back to the station. Our Mercedes C class arrived with a lovely driver who was busting out the Arab dance music and driving without any shoes on. Seriously, he had no shoes on. And he was sat back so much in his chair that his little pointed feet were operating the peddles with just his toes. The worst part of the journey was when I tried to take a picture of his feet but my flash went off and it was really fucking awkward.

During the ride he tried his best to ask us questions which was definitely something we didn’t experience with Uber in Croydon. At the end of the ride he asked us to give him a good rating on the app and to have a good Christmas. I would give the Burning of the Clocks parade 4 out of 5 and Faizel the Uber guy 5.

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