You may have recently heard the sound of fireworks one evening or overheard a discussion of this mysterious “bonfire night” that English people get so excited about after Halloween. The likelihood is, though, that you have no idea what the event actually is or why it takes place. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with the basics on bonfire night celebrations!
What is bonfire night?
Bonfire night, also called Guy Fawkes’ night, is celebrated in England on 5th November every year. It’s a long-standing tradition that started with the burning of a man (Guy Fawkes) for trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605 (helpfully named the Gunpowder Plot). Today, though, we don’t burn real people! Instead, the event is marked up and down the country with the lighting of bonfires (often with a scarecrow-like figure on top to resemble Guy Fawkes) and a fireworks display.
What is our favourite thing about it?
Personally, the fireworks display is the most exciting part of the evening but it’s best enjoyed with a hot chocolate (even better with some Baileys in!) to keep you warm.
Where will we be heading to celebrate?
Our favourite place to enjoy bonfire night in Nottingham is at the Forest Recreation Ground. It’s easily accessible (especially by tram) and the bonfire and fireworks display are suitably impressive. There are also fairground rides and various sweet treats available to buy. Best of all, the event itself is free to attend so it’s perfect for the student budget.
For those in Leeds, we highly recommend Hyde Park – expect masses of people – students, families and children to create a magical atmosphere. But whatever city you’re in there will always be something going on.
Top tips for enjoying bonfire night
Wear an extra pair of socks so your feet don’t get too cold standing still for a long period of time
Leave with plenty of time to get to wherever you’re going because taxis and public transport fill up quickly on the night
Stand as close as you can to the barriers around the bonfire (within reason) so you stay warm from some of its heat
If you want an authentic experience, pick up a toffee apple to eat while you watch the display. It’s usually an apple covered in hardened caramel but sometimes there are chocolate-covered ones too!