Bonfire Night, (or Guy Fawkes night as it is also known) is celebrated not soon after Halloween in UK, where we celebrate the failed attempt to blow up the British parliament by the Catholic conspirators. You may have heard the above poem from school days or more recently from the film V for Vendetta.
Bonfire night has many traditions, the main ones being the lighting of large bonfires and staging of spectacular firework displays. In recent times due to health and safety some traditions such as ‘Penny for the Guy’ where an effigy of Guy Fawkes is topped on the bonfire have slowly ebbed out. But they have had a bit of a resurgence in recent times where in some UK villages of Lewes and Edenbridge they have made the occasion as social gathering of the community where controversial effigies paraded through the streets (which in recent times have been notable political members, messes trump and Blair to name a few newsworthy ones). Each year it is a closely kept secret on who is to be perched upon the bonfire and ignited.
But for my bonfire night is all about the delicious treats that are served up to keep you warm whilst standing in a damp field watching several hundred pounds worth of gunpowder go up in smoke (abet pretty smoke). Warming chilli con-carne or stew with red cabbage are firm favourites here, but it’s the sweet treats that get me more excited than a recently lit roman candle.
Treacle toffee (or sometimes called bonfire toffee), cinder toffee and toffee apples all scream out like a screeching rocket thats just launched from the display. Yes, you will be picking out the toffee from your teeth all night but isn’t that part of the fun? Washed down with a warming mug or two of mulled wine or cider.
It is very easy to get carried away and you must forget that once a year the general public are granted permission to handle what in fact is high explosives brought from the local supermarket. I remember the adverts on the television, usually on around teatime to catch the younger viewers reminding them about the dangers of bonfires and fireworks. Always follow the firework code and be careful with the sparklers, in fact it is sometimes best to light the sparkler during daylight if possible. This way you can catch the full expression on peoples faces.
This year for us bonfire night falls at the end of the half term holidays, so I have drafted in the kids to help with the preparations for celebrations. Together we have come up with some bonfire cupcakes, dead easy to make and very apt for the occasion. You can find the recipe by clicking in the link below
Following on from our Halloween tips, here is my top tips for a safe, great bonfire night celebration!
- Always be safe and follow the firework code
- Wrap up warm, yes it sounds a bit obvious but you’ll enjoy the night if your warm and cosy.
- Look out for pets, we might like bangs but some pets get very anxious. Also check under you car before you set off. A cat might be taking refuge from the noise.
- Attend a local display. This way you can enjoy the evening with your friends and family without worrying about someone lighting the fireworks/bonfire.
- Young kids might not like the loud bangs, we found that ear defenders worked. We also drove to the top of the hill and watched from the comfort of our car.