With another lockdown starting on November 5, many Bonfire Night get-togethers have had to be cancelled.
Larger events had already been cancelled – with Lewisham Council pulling the plug on the Blackheath fireworks back in September.
On the London Fire Brigade website, The Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Paul Jennings has asked the public to think twice before holding a private fireworks display or building a bonfire in their gardens.
Jennings said: “Think about your neighbours, particularly older people or those who are self isolating, pets and of course those of us in the emergency services.
“This time of year is usually one of the busiest for firefighters and Control Officers and we also need to support our NHS colleagues, so please help us, by keeping yourself safe.”
So here’s how to safely celebrate this bonfire night safely and considerately.
Sparklers are arguably the best part of bonfire night. They are the firework you can hold – a safe thrill of adrenaline.
There are also certain sparklers that you can get for inside use that don’t emit smoke if you don’t have a garden handy. These sparklers are quite popular for weddings and you can sometimes see them in cakes as they come in various sizes. Whichever kind of sparkler you choose, remember to keep safe!
- Always wear gloves
- Always supervise children
- Only light one at a time
- Don’t like a sparkler more than once
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to put sparklers in after use
Don’t have a garden? Don’t worry, there are plenty of movies and TV shows about Guy Fawkes to enjoy instead.
Gunpowder was a 2017 BBC original TV series which is now on Amazon Prime Video. In a re-enactment of the famous story, Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) stars as Guy Fawkes. This series tells the story of Fawkes and his co-conspirators, and why they tried to blow up parliament.
V for Vendetta may not tell the story of Guy Fawkes, but for those looking for a fun action movie, this is for you. An homage to Guy Fawkes, V (who wears a Guy Fawkes mask) is a vigilante set in a futuristic world and uses terrorist tactics to fight an oppressive society. The 2005 film explores similar themes of rebellion against the government and can be rented on Amazon Prime Video.
One of the best things about bonfire night is the food stalls. The US bonfire delicacy s’mores are such a treat and can be made without a bonfire.
200g chocolate chips
50g mini marshmallows
1 packet of plain digestive biscuits
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
- Get a cake tin, and cover the whole tin with chocolate chips.
- Cover the chocolate chips with mini marshmallows.
- Put the tin in the oven for 7 minutes, or until the marshmallows are golden brown.
- Take out of the oven let it cool for a couple of minutes. You still want it to be hot when you start eating, but you still need it to cool down slightly.
- Dip your biscuits in!
Best Bonfire night drinks
Want to celebrate in a more seasonal way? Try some of these drinks! All recipes from this section come from BBC Good Food.
A very seasonal drink, not to mention delicious!
- Place 2 tsp pumpkin purée into a large heatproof glass.
- Add a pinch each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
- Stir in a 30ml espresso coffee shot.
- Heat 250ml milk of your choice in a saucepan until steaming and frothed.
- Pour the hot milk into the heatproof glass and top with froth.
- Stir to combine then dust with more cinnamon before drinking.
A classic which is always well received.
Although slightly early for the Christmas season, bonfire night is a great night to break out the mulled wine!
½ bottle red wine
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
50g brown sugar
Place all of the ingredients into a saucepan and simmer gently for 6-8 minutes, without boiling.
If you’ve never had it before, it’s worth a try.
1½ l dry cider
7 tbsp Calvados
400ml apple juice
75g dark brown sugar
zest 1 orange, pared into strips
4 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 tbsp allspice berries
- Pour the cider, Calvados, apple juice and sugar into a large saucepan, and gently heat to mull.
- Add the orange zest and spices, bring to a simmer, then turn down and keep on a low heat for 20-30 mins. Ladle into glass mugs to serve.
Light your own fireworks/bonfire
Marching through a town with lit torches that are thrown into the bonfire and then watching a large fireworks display are always the memorable part of bonfire night.
Due to lockdown, you can buy fireworks to light in your garden for a small family bonfire night instead, which may not be as big as something councils put on, but special none-the-less.
However, fireworks aren’t good news for everyone. Every year, there are reports about terrified pets because neighbours haven’t given notice to their neighbours about using fireworks. Jacqui Cuff, head of advocacy and government relations for Cats Protection in particular wants stronger safety measures for fireworks.
Cuff said: “This is a particularly unusual year but, going forward, we’d like to see the Government restrict the unplanned use of fireworks and require notice for displays so owners can anticipate displays and take action to keep their cats safe.
“This would require anyone planning to set off fireworks to give notice in advance.”