Bonfire night, or Guy Fawkes Night, is a very British tradition. Stemming from the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, we Brits now love nothing more than to burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes every year, on or around the 5th of November.
Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…
And forget it we do not!
Whilst I find it all a bit odd that we still commemorate it, I do get fully involved in the festivities. It is yet another thing I can get excited about with the arrival of autumn. So with that in mind here is a list of all things I consider essential for the best bonfire night.
Bonfire Night Essentials
Hats and Scarves
It will be cold. It is Britain; in November. Simple as that. Unless you like to feel like you have glass in your ears or an air conditioning unit blowing down your neck, a hat and scarf is absolutely essential.
I have left gloves off this list due to some of the other handheld items on the list. But fingerless gloves may be a good idea. Or ‘Fagin‘ gloves as I call them, for an even more British reference.
Is it even bonfire night if your dad doesn’t come home from the local supermarket with 5 packs of sparklers and then proceed to give you the yearly lecture about how dangerous they are?
How you “WILL GET BURNT” if you so much as look at the lit part.
And whatever you do… IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE put them in the bucket of water when you are done. DO NOT throw them in. Place them gently in the water.
And DO NOT wave them at your sister OR chase her with them.
Seriously, is it even bonfire night? Sparklers are the best!
Or Cotton Candy for my lovely US readers. Even at the grand old age of thirty (cough) something I LOVE candy floss. Granted I can physically feel it rotting my teeth but it is worth it for that sweet sugary goodness.
This is the epitome of a late evening family trip out for me. We actually make and eat them at home before heading out. Mostly because we make them better (major ego alert) but also because the queue for food at our local bonfire night is always super long. Ain’t nobody got time for that when there are sparklers to panic your father with.
Fair Ground Rides
I have never been to a bonfire night where there isn’t at least:
1 over priced, super colourful roundabout.
1 fish for a duck game lit up brighter than the sun and you win a cuddly toy.
1 ‘throw something at something’ challenge that no one ever wins (I swear they super glue the targets down).
But I love it! I always go laden with change ready to spend my husbands hard earned pennies* on crap 😉
*Please… I am joking!! No major feminist comments needed, I work hard too.
Yep, more sugar. Yes there is a theme here. I like to consider it ‘stomach training’ for Christmas. But after hours in the cold, or whilst you are still out in it then hot chocolate is just the remedy.
Proper professional fireworks. Ideally set to music that most of the crowd can’t actually hear. It adds to the fun. However, I intensely disapprove of the fact that in the UK anyone can buy and let off fireworks.
People underestimate how dangerous they are. And besides that there are a lot of people who are completely inconsiderate and let them off in built up areas late at night when kids are sleeping. You think hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn? You should try the scorn of a Mother who finally got her baby to sleep for the first time, in what feels like a week, and you just let off a f***ing great big firework out the back of her house, waking said baby. Someone is going to get hurt and not necessarily by the firework! I’m looking at you people in number 20! You are lucky I didn’t go all Harley Quinn on your arses!
I am much more in favour of the American regulations around fireworks. But they are an essential part for a successful bonfire night. Just run by officials… OK!
So that is my list of bonfire night essentials. Would you add anything to the list? Do you have any other family traditions you couldn’t live without?