Bonfire night is here!

This was always an exciting day for me as a child, not because the sky lights up with some pretty beautiful colours but we usually went to a fair ground and had a really fun night. We’d scream riding super fast rides and eat candy floss and hot dogs till we felt sick, then huddle up togther in our hat gloves and scarves and feel the warmth of the bonfire near by and watch a firework dispaly.

A 2020 bonfire.

Like everything this year I feel as though this has been cancelled. we can’t go and play on the fair and drink hot chocolate in the cold. we can’t stand together and watch the bonfire crackle. It’s a real shame but it’s for all our loved ones and our own safty.

This year we’re having a home bonfire celebration. With the UK going back into lockdown starting today you may be stuck on some ideas, we’re here to help! But first some facts!

What is Bonfire Night?

Bonfire

On 5 November, people in the UK celebrate Bonfire Night with fireworks, bonfires, sparklers and often toffee apples. (This could be something you can do to or make at home!)

Some people might have small fireworks displays in their back gardens, while towns like where we live and villages may put on organised displays in public parks. Our town usually puts on a charity display with all proceedings going to local charities.

So why do we do this every year? Well, because it’s the anniversary of an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. If you didn’t know this…now you do. This was known as the Gunpowder Plot.

We light bonfires to remember this event every year, traditionally with a dummy to burn on top of it. We call this dummy a ‘Guy’. The Guy a kind of doll that represents a man who was part of the plot, called Guy Fawkes. Hint Guy Fawkes night- I always find it odd we celebrate a man who tried to do something against the crown- like why would we do this?

What was the Gunpowder Plot?

Guy Fawkes was part of the Gunpowder plot which happened in 1605. He wanted to blow up King James I and his government- and we celebrate this…?

This was because of religion. England at the time was a Protestant country and the plotters of the plot were Catholic. as we know from history they did not get along. They wanted England to be Catholic again, which they thought they could achieve if they killed King James I and his ministers.

So, Guy Fawkes and his accomplices put 36 barrels of gunpowder in cellars underneath the Houses of Parliament in London. This was ready to set off a massive explosion in hope to kill everyone in the building.

However, one member of Fawkes’ group sent a letter to his friend who worked in Parliament at the time. The man was wriitng, warning him to stay away on 5 November sparing his life from the attack.

The King’s supporters got hold of the letter and the plot was foiled. A lot of lives I imagine was spared as well as the life of the king. Imagine what would have happened if the plotters were successful?

Guards broke into the cellars where the gunpowder plotters were waiting to set the plan ‘off’. They were arrested and executed.

So every year we remember this night Although the tradition was to burn a Guy on a bonfire to celebrate the safety of the king, fireworks weren’t introduced till the 1650’s. Fireworks are made using gun powder so the connection between the two remains.

bonfire

Did you know…

During World War I and World War II, no one was allowed to set off fireworks or light bonfires. This was part of an act of parliament that came in 1914 called The Defence of the Realm Act. This was aimed to protect people during the war by not showing the enemy where they were. Rightly so!

Although, up until 1959, it was illegal NOT to celebrate Bonfire Night in Britain, so during this time people celebrated the event indoors. Talk about mixed messages!

Salt Firework Painting!

This fun craft will keep your light ones amused and busy to the big night. Make yout own firework scenes!

What will I need?

  • Black paper for your night sky!
  • Salt
  • PVA glue
  • Paint
  • Water

Lets make a bang!

  1. Begin by drawing your fireworks out in pencil.
Bonfire

2. Next using PVA go over these lines as if painting over them.

Bonfire

3. Whilst still wet, sprinkle salt over the PVA. The salt will absorb the glue and stick to the paper!

Bonfire
Bonfire

4. Mix paint with water.

5. Using a thin brush drip the paint onto the salt lines to create your fireworks!

I think it’s best to use water colours or children’s water colours for this craft. My water downed acrylics didn’t take aw well but the results are still pretty!

A simple way to make some firework displays!

Some bonfire night ideas!

If you are in the same boat as us and don’t have a garden or also like us cannot afford the cost of fireworks (I lost my job last week- so were on a budget) Here’s some frugal fun following the lockdown ‘law’.

  • Make or your favourite bonfire treats at home. Toffee apples, candy floss and hot dogs. Have an in house ‘bonfire’ with a mini stove or if you have a fireplace. Toast marshmallows.
  • Snuggle on the sofa and watch firework displays on YouTube. You can watch some pretty awesome displays on you tube. Turn all the lights off and snuggle under a blanket together.
  • Watch neighbours displays from a window. I used to do this a lot as a child.
  • Draw a paper guy and burn him in a empty tin can or fire retardant pot, pan or bin. Clay flower pots are good for this also. (Help from an adult NEVER touch or play with anything to do with flames, fire or anything that can harm you- ALWAYS have an adult around to help.)
  • Make hot chocolate and sit in the garden under blankets and watch fireworks around you.
  • Toast marshmallows or make s ‘mores inside using a gel burner.

Sparkler safety

If you are having some sparkler fun at your bonfire, take great care and remember these simple rules. Following these will ensure your safety.

  • Never put sparklers in your pocket!
  • Never pick one up off the floor
  • Make sure an adult is always with you
  • Light them one at a time
  • Always wear gloves!
  • Hold them at arm’s length and away from your face and body and anyone else face or bodies.
  • When it goes out, put the hot end in a bucket of water. Otherwise it could still burn you.

Remember to stay safe around bonfires. Keep a safe distance and be sensible to ensure your safety and others around you. Have a great time!

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