What would November be without Bonfire night? I feel like if we didn’t have Bonfire night and Halloween to look forward to then Autumn would be pretty depressing. Honestly, we could do with an extra holiday as well, maybe something that combines the best aspects of Harvest festivals and Thanksgiving but less American and right at the end of November. Let me know if you have any ideas.
As a child, I remember going to see the village bonfire and fireworks display. The bonfire always seemed enormous and, even standing well back behind the barriers I could feel the warmth of it on my face. The rest of me, quite naturally, would be wrapped up in a big coat complete with hat, scarf and mittens. We’d probably have bonfire baked potatoes for dinner and at some point in the evening, I’d probably get a toffee apple or a nice chunky slice of parkin. The highlight, though, was always the fireworks.
Last year when 5th November rolled around I was deep in PhD viva study and going out wasn’t something I was doing a whole lot of, even to see fireworks. This year, though, I had the chance. We heard that there would be a display in Falkirk, at Callendar House, and so we wrapped up warm and went along (and yes, we did have baked potatoes for dinner first, but I wasn’t about to build a bonfire just to cook them, so they went in the oven, accusations of being boring be damned).
The event was free but they were taking donations and selling merchandise and snacks. We arrived at about 18:30, half an hour after the gates opened and half an hour before the display started and I was impressed with how busy things already were and with the scale of the event. There was a temporary stage set up and all night there was music playing and entertainment, mostly aimed towards families.
We debated coffee and snacks but the queues were a bit terrifying, so we just wandered about a bit until it was time for the display. We got a good spot, close to the barriers (why do I always feel the need to be close to the barriers when all the exciting stuff will be happening in the actual sky? I don’t know…) and sat back to enjoy the show.
Again, for a free event, I was super impressed. I think it went on for about 40 minutes and there were several times after particularly impressive fireworks that I felt certain we’d just seen the finale, only for more fireworks to be launched. After the last few finished the crowd cheered and clapped before moving either back to the stage (for the last 20 minutes of entertainment) or out of the park.
We wandered home, feeling chilly but happy, and warmed up with some hot chocolate.