Guy Fawkes Night, or Bonfire Night as we now call it, is one of those really weird British traditions that makes no sense to any other nation than our own.
So, what is Bonfire Night?
In a nutshell, Bonfire Night occurs on the 5th of November and every community wrecks a patch of their park by having a huge bonfire. The local kids make a dummy in the shape of a man, tie him to a chair and burn him on the bonfire.
Sounds weird?…It is.
We also have heaps of fireworks and sparklers, eat toffee apples and candy floss and make fools of ourselves by ‘bobbing for apples’.
I told you it was weird.
FYI – Bobbing for Apples is where you have to pick up an apple using only your teeth. The apples are floating in a bucket of water and it’s pretty much impossible but hilarious to watch.
Why did Bonfire Night start?
Bonfire Night dates all the way back to 1605 (thank you Wikipedia) when a guy called Guy Fawkes was arrested for guarding a load of gunpowder that was beneath the House of Lords. Guy was planning on killing the king and now our patriotic nation, whether they know it is not, celebrate the fact that the king survived.
There is always an excitable yet dangerous energy during Bonfire Night celebrations. It isn’t just the fire and the not so professional firework display that add to the dangerous atmosphere, it’s something about everybody being out at night time, kids being allowed to do what they like after consuming bucket loads of sugar and it feels a bit like a Pagan ritual.
Fire is a weird thing that draws people to it and entrances them like a hypnotist. It must be our caveman instincts that make us so enchanted by it and I could stare at a fire all day.
What will I be doing?
I’ll be heading to Battersea Park to see an epic firework display and gather around a huge bonfire.