Life around the world

Monday, 12 November, 2012 - 08:27

How to Celebrate Bonfire Night

by Kate Wym

The 5th November has always had a very special place in my heart.  Of course, it is Guy Fawkes’ Night, which in itself has great historical significance for the UK.  I highly recommend researching it, if you want to hear about how the House of Parliament, the whole government and the King very nearly got blown to kingdom come (but not quite, sorry to spoil the ending).

But this post isn’t going to be about that, unfortunately.  It’s going to be about the way we commemorate, or in fact celebrate this particular bit of our history.  As the title suggested, it involves fireworks, and lots of them.  More important than New Year’s Eve, but probably less important than the Olympics ceremonies, the 5th November every year is THE day for fireworks lovers and pyromaniacs all over the country to go wild!

It’s a special time of year, as the nights draw in and autumn well and truly hits.  The night of the 5th will be cold and damp and hedgehogs will already be looking for warm places to shelter during the winter.  The bonfire will have been built on the village green or in the back garden, a tantalising promise of the blaze to come.

Parents wrap up their children in layers of jumpers, coats, hats, scarves and gloves.  They fuss over the littlest children and hope that they aren’t scared.  They comfort their pets and give them a safe place to curl up inside, away from the cacophony about to start outside.

Outside the bonfire is lit and the smell of smoke creeps up your nose.  If you’re lucky, there might be some pumpkin soup left over from Halloween to warm you up, because in spite of all the layers and the excitement, you’ll still need warming up until the bonfire gets going!

When it’s absolutely dark and the bonfire is blazing, the children and parents huddle together in groups, staring up at the sky.  What are they waiting for?

The screech of the first firework deafens them all and the explosion lights up the sky.  The ‘oohs’ and ‘aaahs’ of the crowd keep perfect time with the ‘kabooms’ of the rockets.  With every firework that lights up the sky, parents watch the delight grow on their children’s faces and sigh with relief. 

After the grand finale, they make their way home with the noises still echoing in their ears.  An extra special treat waits at home though: sparklers!  Waving them through the chilly air, spelling out names and drawing pictures, even the oldest members of the family remember how to be kids!

This is what 5th November means to me.  Every year, it feels like the first time I’ve seen such bright and colourful fireworks and heard such loud bangs.  I really hope I never grow out of it!

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Do you like fireworks? Do you celebrate any special events in your country with fireworks?

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