Every year on the winter solstice (21st December), around 2000 Brightonains make lanterns from Willow Cane and tissue paper, and take to the streets. The event which has been running since 1995, is a family parade through the city starting on North Street, and finishing on Madeira drive at the seafront. It culminates in a spectacular fire and fireworks show on the beach, with over 20,000 spectators, when the lanterns are symbolically burnt. As the lanterns are passed into the fire, the carriers put with them their hopes, dreams and fears. The festival has a different theme every year to influence the lanterns and costumes, as well as live bands to create a carnival atmosphere (although it’s winter!).
The festival is organized by Same Sky, an artist-led charity, and is designed to be a way to celebrate the season regardless of religion or faith. Just remember to wrap up warm… See the official site Here for more details.