Event TV: Borough Market creates kissing-powered Christmas lights

Christmas shoppers kiss to power Borough Market's festive lights display
Christmas shoppers kiss to power Borough Market's festive lights display

To mark London's Borough Market's 1,000th Christmas in Southwark, the venue invited shoppers to kiss to generate enough energy to power its festive lights display and help set a world record attempt.

As part of yesterday’s (17 December) 1,000 mistletoe kisses activation, put together by agencies Tin Man Communications and Tea Time Productions, the London destination orchestrated 1,000 simultaneous kisses under a 300 square-foot ceiling of individually-tied bunches of mistletoe – one for each person taking part.

Borough Market partnered with top physics experts at Royal Holloway, University of London, to investigate the ‘power’ of love and to help set up the electrifying record attempt. Individuals acted as a circuit and switched on the lights as they ‘connected’ by sharing their special Christmas kiss.

Physicist David Farmer from Royal Holloway University, said: "We worked out that an average kiss on the cheek burns two calories per minute, which converts into approximately 150 watts - enough to power about three old light bulbs. Christmas LED lights only use about seven watts, so we found that the total amount of energy generated by 1,000 one-second kisses could theoretically power Borough’s Christmas display.

"Harnessing this energy is hard but you can still use a kiss to turn the lights on. After lots of calculations we’re excited to bring physics to life in a fun way and show that it’s more than just facts in a textbook."

Donald Hyslop, Borough Market chair of trustees, added: "A market has always been a central meeting place within the community, and a place that people connect, and share food and drink. Connecting people is very much part of Borough and runs through everything we do so it made perfect sense to carry the theme through to our Christmas light switch on."

Market traders created special Christmas kiss-themed produce on the day, including cookies and bunches of mistletoe, and all participants were treated to free mince pies. Visitors were also entertained on the day with a medley of Christmas carols sung by the Choir of Royal Holloway, University of London.

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