09 November 2010

About That Guy

Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

I have been full of excited anticipation about my first Guy Fawkes Night in England. I'd read about Guy Fawkes's unsuccessful assassination of King James I and attempt to blow up the House of Lords in 1605 (aka The Gunpowder Plot).

Each November his failure continues to be celebrated with fireworks, bonfires, and his burning effigy. Could it be a joyous occasion?

It was!

Fireworks at Local School

Naturally Britain has no independence day, once 'owning' 1/4 of the world's population (wow). My English friends claim they have no patriotic day. Yet Bonfire Night is celebrated collectively in England and felt patriotic-ish to me :)

Friday night we went to our local school's celebration filled with carnival rides, live band, and food & drink. The firework display was quite impressive, with Katy Perry's song 'Firework' crooning in the background. 

For some reason I got a little teary when they played the theme song to James Bond - it was just too cool to be in England with that soundtrack and the fireworks (and a cup of mulled wine). Perfection. 

Neighbor Lighting Fireworks In Backyard

Saturday night we were invited to our neighbors' celebration in their backyard. There were so many fireworks going off in the neighborhood, it felt like 'Battle of the Bands' [he confirmed it was].

Having fireworks in November (instead of July in the US) means the weather is cooler, and there are no fire bans. Huge benefits! Our kids had never played with sparklers until that evening. They LOVED them!

Burning Guy Fawkes

My neighbor got the bonfire started by fueling up the effigy and torching it. They added to the fire throughout the weekend to burn and 'tidy up' the backyard of old branches and fallen leaves. [So practical] They were even burning the wood from their old kitchen walls!

The bonfire was so warm and cozy with an air of friendship and bonding by the fire. We had more hot mulled wine (spiked with brandy), chili, and roasted marshmallows. Yum

Warming Around The Bonfire

This smoky weekend unofficially marked the beginning of winter here. Retail stores are definitely focused on Christmas now, as there is no other holiday until then.

To continue on the firework theme, I'd like to introduce you to one of my [and my daughter's] new favorite songs titled 'Lights' by English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding. Enjoy!

XO Laura


Make mine Mid-Century said...

You sound like you had a wonderful evening! Mulled wine helps ... and your neighbours sound nice. Someone told me the other day that the London Fire Brigade is none-too-happy on Guy Fawkes night because of the extra call-outs they get!

Loved your run-down and photos ... am still laughing at your James Bond teariness!

Robynne's Nest said...

Isn't it amazing, all the banging and popping going on all week. I must admit I do love fireworks...we don't have anything like this or your independence day celebrations in Aus, only a bit of a show on New Years Eve. We also went to a neighbours bonfire on Friday night and I've never seen such a ferocious fire...you just couldn't do it in Aus as you would burn the whole neighbourhood down!

JoAnn said...

What a perfect time!! :) So glad you enjoyed that with your new neighbors! Very cool!

Happy Homemaker UK | Laura said...

Actually, the firefighters threatened a strike for that night, their busiest day of the year. I think it illegal for firefighters to go on strike in the US. So interesting...

JANE said...

A fab post, Laura - thanks so much for sharing. We used to celebrate it in Australia but the tradition has vanished - I suppose it's a little too 'British' for us now. J x

Raine and Sage said...

So much history in the UK. Fireworks are synonymous with New Year in Australia, although this is only for the professionals. Growing up we had fireworks, and it always makes me think of the poor dogs. Ours once broke a stack of dinner plates trying to hide in a cupboard. It was sheer terror for the poor guy. Sounds like you really enjoyed yourself. Great to hear!

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Oh...how interesting. I have always wondered just how this holiday was celebrated. Fascinating!