Thousands of people took to the streets of Brighton last night to celebrate the winter solstice.

The annual Burning The Clocks celebration returned after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, with residents parading paper and willow lanterns through the city centre before placing them on a bonfire on the beach.

Crowds lined the streets to see the extravagant designs along with the dancers and musicians.

The event is a celebration of the new and past year, a “time for reflection and thought.”

The Argus:

Robert Batson, executive producer at Same Sky wich organises the occasion, said: “It has been heartbreaking to cancel the event for the past two years, so bringing it back and in such a big way is going to be so thrilling.

“There’s no better way to celebrate the winter solstice.”

Mayor Lizzie Deane was among those took part in the parade, leading the procession along with council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty and Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas.

The Argus: Famous Brighton faces attended the eventFamous Brighton faces attended the event (Image: Nick Henley and Andrew Gardner/The Argus)

Lizzie praised the event’s organisers for a “fantastic” return. She said: “Same Sky do a brilliant job at getting it all together, working with the kids in the schools, and all the volunteers and funders make a fantastic event which is a real highlight of the Brighton calendar.”

The theme for this year’s parade was “nature” and the lanterns included models of insects and animals.

The Argus: This creature was seen taking part in the processionsThis creature was seen taking part in the processions (Image: Andrew Matthews/PA)

It finished with a bonfire and firework display on the seafront, where each lantern was set alight around an effigy of a “wilderman” during a ritualistic ceremony, set to ambient electronic music and a reactive dance and light show.

The Argus:

The celebration costs over £45,000 to produce each year, and much of this is supported through a crowdfunding campaign alongside sponsors such as the Arts Council England and Hanningtons Brighton.

This year, the crowdfunding campaign received £2,151, which is further boosted by donations through collectors holding buckets and contactless card readers.

Same Sky said the event receives no guaranteed funding and “relies heavily on donations from the community to make this massive event happen".