Flame Festival lights up Britain for Paralympics

Each of the four home nations of Britain have lit a celebration cauldron in preparation for the Paralympics 2012, which commences on Wednesday 29 August

The capital cities of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have taken turns to light their cauldron with the National Flames created only a few days before.

London’s Trafalgar Square provided a picture-perfect setting for the first day of the English Flame Festival on 24 August. During the event, 26 Flame ambassadors from the nation and the regions each collected a splinter of the Flame in a lantern to take back to the various celebrations around the country.

England’s Flame then journeyed through the streets of London, visiting some of our favourite attractions, from the Royal Opera House and Houses of Parliament to the Notting Hill Festival.

On the other side of the water, Belfast set their cauldron ablaze in front of the Stormont Buildings before transferring the Northern Ireland Flame to a lantern to begin its procession through the city.

Scotland’s National Flame shined down upon Edinburgh on 25 August, with the day beginning at The Mound. As part of the day of Paralympic celebrations, the Scottish Flame dropped in on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where audiences and street performers were able to view it.

Finally, it was Wales’ opportunity to ignite the sparks of excitement for the Paralympics 2012, as the ceremonial cauldron was lit outside Cardiff’s City Hall this morning.

Throughout the day the Flame will be the focus of several celebration events in Wales as representatives from Swansea and Conwy will light lanterns from the cauldron, enabling them to take part of the Flame to events in their communities. The day culminates in a Flame Festival from 7pm where a spectacular lantern procession of over 200 people will accompany Torchbearers as the Welsh Flame arrives in Roald Dahl Plass.

The Welsh Flame will then be taken to Stoke Mandeville where a special ceremony will take place on Tuesday 28 August, uniting the four National Flames to create the Paralympic Flame. A 24-hour Relay will follow, during which the Flame will be carried by Torchbearers, working in teams of five, to the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

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