In Events

Bon Fire night is almost upon us and with it a whole host of seasonal activities and events including firework displays and a few other traditions that continue to be celebrated. Naturally, you can find the best bon fire night events in your area by clicking here and using the search bar, but if you want to find out a little more about the various bonfire night traditions that take place across Britain, read on.

First up, let’s talk about the traditional foods from this time of year. While we’re all familiar with the idea of burning a guy (which dates back to when Guy Fawkes, more on him later, was caught trying to blow up Parliament) but did you also know that the bonfires were used to cook potatoes and heat up soup for the crowds watching the fire work displays. Aside from potatoes and soup, the most well-known traditional food of bonfire night has to be Parkin, a sticky cake made from oatmeal, ginger, treacle and syrup.

We mentioned fire work displays, which take place throughout the first few weeks of November all over the UK, as it isn’t always convenient to hold them on the 5th November. You can find out more here, but if you want our tips of the best display, we would recommend the Lord Mayor’s Fireworks in London, a free event with more then half a tonne of fireworks that can be seen over most of the city. For the best views head to the Embankment. Of course there are displays, both big and small, happening in every community across the UK, click here to find out more.

The fire work displays that take place every year were inspired by Guy Fawkes, who we mentioned earlier. For those not in the know, Guy Fawkes was one of a band of Catholics who, fed up of the way that they and others in their faith were being treated, plotted to kill the King by blowing up parliament with gun powder that they had hidden beneath the palace of Westminster. The plot was discovered before it could go ahead and Guy Fawkes was arrested having been found guarding the gun powder. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London where he was tortured before being put to death. You might not think that the British establishment would want to remember such an incident, but bon fire night has been a celebration ever since. One thing that has fallen a little out of tradition though is the burning of the Guy, an effigy of the man himself. These are often made out of old clothes and people would donate money to have one in their community which would then be burned as part of the bon fire night celebration.

Speaking of burning things, one tradition that has remained in the south west of England is Tar Barrel Rolling. This procession takes place in the town of Ottery St Mary in Devon and involves people in the town setting fire to barrels and parading around town with them. Exactly why this is done no one really remembers, but it takes place every year on Bon Fire Night and draws huge crowds. A similar event takes place in Lewes, Sussex, where residents parade through the streets with drums and flaming torches to make their way to the venue for their fire work display.

Are you attending any fire work displays this year? Let us know by getting in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.