Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

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Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby cyprusmoira » October 30th, 2019, 10:38 am

As you know I do not live in the UK but it seems to me that there seems to be a great celebration of Hallowe'en but Bonfire Night seems to have been abandoned. I read on various sites of all types of food and drink suitable for Hallowe'en, including what to do with the pulp removed from your pumpkin but nothing about 5th November.
I realise that private bonfire parties are discouraged, there are public firework displays, seldom held on 5th November. I know about the dangers and stress to some humans and animals.
It strikes me that commercialization has taken over.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Seatallan » October 30th, 2019, 11:08 am

I know. Halloween really does seem to have taken over. I used to enjoy 'penny for the guy' but no one does it any more do they?
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby scullion » October 30th, 2019, 12:12 pm

Seatallan wrote: I used to enjoy 'penny for the guy' but no one does it any more do they?

not after the child got stabbed a few decades back!
we can see loads of fireworks let off on the 5th where we live as we have a long view (10-15 miles) but i can understand why the bigger displays save them for the closest friday or saturday night.
maybe i'll make us some toffee apples for pudding next week!
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby suffolk » October 30th, 2019, 12:45 pm

I’ve a feeling that some folk feel a little reluctant to celebrate/reinact
the burning to death of a human being ... I know it’s not how our generation saw it, but sadly younger generations have seen horrendous things on the tv ... if they have more imagination and empathy than ours did I won’t argue with that ... particularly on the day that were talking about the Grenfell tragedy when we cannot help imagining the terror and suffering of being burnt.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to do it, but I do understand if people decide not to.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby scullion » October 30th, 2019, 12:57 pm

but they're quite happy to celebrate the nailing, and slow death of a man on a cross?
i think it may be more to do with the safety aspect and the rise of organised displays of fireworks. it's more effort to transport food that would normally be eaten at a home bonfire party - and the thought of sharing apple bobbing water with a complete stranger!
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Seatallan » October 30th, 2019, 1:16 pm

I think it's just gone out of fashion. After all, Halloween is even more ghoulish isn't it?

Interestingly, Halloween was always more of a thing in Northern Ireland (perhaps for obvious political reasons) than Guy Fawkes Night was. My nephew (who grew up in NI) was out trick or treating years before anyone really did it in England.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby suffolk » October 30th, 2019, 1:22 pm

Very few celebrate that ... Easter doesn’t involve a reinactment ... except for a very few people up at Walsingham and a few other places.

I’m not talking about the food etc ... just the burning of the guy. The bonfire started out as being about Samhain and the burning of Guy Fawkes came later.

In 1557, in the village where I used to live, a villager called John Noyes was burnt to death on a fire on the Church Plain in the centre of the village because of his beliefs ... this was marked and remembered in the village by generations of villagers who passed the spot every day. I found it gave me reason to reflect on the tradition of burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes.

http://escapetoexplore.co.uk/pasttimes/pt_johnnoyes.htm
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Gruney » October 30th, 2019, 1:25 pm

Scully has ruined Halloween for me, this year. It was all to do with her pumpkin chowder. It was very good indeed, but I used the pumpkin I had bought for Halloween - when irritating children insist on ringing the doorbell. I was going to put the pumpkin in the window, but instead of carving a welcoming face, I was going to carve"Bxxxer Off"!
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby earthmaiden » October 30th, 2019, 2:46 pm

When my children were growing up (in the 70s/80s), fireworks started getting expensive and the very real dangers of fireworks and bonfires in small gardens highlighted. Even big displays often had to tone down the bonfire and jump over hoops with regard to spectator safety and insurance. It was around the same time that the Americanised version of Halloween began to catch on and I can see how in many places Halloween won. That said, most towns still have one or more good firework displays but the meaning has gone a lot of the time. I love the way that it is all still going strong in some parts of the country with such things as the bonfire societies in Sussex. Bonfire night in Lewes is fabulous and effigies definitely burnt!
When I was a child the whole village gathered round a huge bonfire on the green which had been built by local boys. Each family let their own fireworks off, it was a night of fire, bangers down wellington boots and numerous dangers - wonderful fun if you went home unscathed but we were very lucky that no-one was ever maimed.
As long as we go on celebrating the time of year when we go into the underworld I suppose it doesn't matter if the way we celebrate changes bit, I think eventually it will be one celebration. Of course, we also have traditions such as Diwali which are more commonplace in a multicultural society which also celebrate light over darkness and add to our traditional celebrations.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Herbidacious » October 30th, 2019, 4:01 pm

The fireworks cause huge distress to my cats, and the pets of many people I know. It distresses me too to see how terrified my two are, cowering on the stairs every night for several weeks either side of the 5th. I would be very happy if they banned the selling of fireworks to private individuals. I am all for the food though.

And Halloween? I will be sequestering myself in the back room with all the lights off. Not too many problems on the road I live on now - mostly little ones coming round iwth their parents before i get home - but in other places in London, treats were given and yet eggs and flour were still chucked at my windows. And then there are the 6 footers who demand money.
Can't be bah humbug at Halloween I suppose... so bah treacletoffee?!
All for halloween food too.
Any food really... :D
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Meganthemog » October 30th, 2019, 5:01 pm

My mum used to say that when she was young they would go our Guising at Hallowe'en - they would do a little turn and get given sweets for their performance. This would have been in the 1920s. She was of Irish extraction.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Herbidacious » October 30th, 2019, 5:12 pm

No one did trick or treating when I was growing up (1970s Sheffield.) When it began to appear, my mother dismissed it as 'begging'.

Primrose just sent me an email inviting me to buy things to enhance my bonfire night experience - patio heaters, wellies, lanterns, 'special' rustic log baskets...
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby earthmaiden » October 30th, 2019, 5:20 pm

Oh no! Nasty marketing! The first trick or treaters to visit us was a group of teens in 1984. OH told them to go away. They did, but let the tyres down on the car on the way.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby WWordsworth » October 30th, 2019, 7:42 pm

In the north west of England we had mischief night.

It was on 4 Nov and involved doing things as naughty as knocking on doors and running away.
Some people had wrought iron gates which could be lifted off so we would swap them between houses.

Nothing was damaged and we were usually back inside by 8pm.

On 5 Nov there was a bonfire in the back garden involving jacket potatoes (cooked in the oven because the fire was dirty) treacle toffee and gingerbread.
Dad would set a few fireworks off and we all had a sparkler.

Loved it.

Dog was usually to be found under the bed though.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 30th, 2019, 8:54 pm

Bonfire night does seem to have been overtaken these days by Halloween doesn't it? I guess it does depend a lot on where you live. For example, my year spent in Luton I never saw a single carved pumpkin or trick or treater. Fireworks were very abundent though, but probably in the main let off at religious celebrations.

the 70's and 80's I seem to remember Halloween involved kids egging cars and property frontage if they weren't given treats. My mum never allowed me and my sister to go trick or treating and I never felt I was missing out.

Around the same era, my granddad would set up a small display for us all in the back garden for Guy Fawkes night and as a kid it was always very exciting. It was so expensive though! What a relief when our local town council started putting on a free display in the town park which was such a spectacle, I carried on going to that well into married life, and followed on in subsequent years by going to locally organised displays. I don't think I have ever done more than light a sparkler making sure I had gloves on. We never had a bonfire at home. We were too concerned about hedgehogs (and pet tortoises) finding their way in. In more recent years I have been more aware of how our pet dogs and cats are scared by fireworks and the fact that they seem to go on from October until past Christmas, around these parts anyway.

I do remember the excitement of having a proper oven baked jacket potato with plenty of butter, eaten in the garden in the cold on 5th November.

I do love the spooky feel of Halloween, always have, but not the commercial side of it. In my last house I used to get home from work to the dimly lit village where I lived, see the street full of parents and kids dressed up, and sit round the corner in my car until they had dispersed. Then sit in the dark all evening not opening the door. Well, it can get expensive! :lol: I used to take my eldest nephew trick or treating when he was younger in the village where he lives. Such fun! We always knew which houses would have treats because of the decorations. Their firework display at the local school was always good.

Oh, I do love this time of year! :grin:
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Grasshopper » October 30th, 2019, 9:23 pm

Suffs - did you know that they NEVER burn a Guy Fawkes at st. Peter's School in York? And why - because he was a pupil there.

Also, at one time, it was illegal NOT to celebrate Bonfire Night.

I remember parkin pigs, toffee apples, home-made toffee (YUM!), Standard fireworks, learning the Firework Code, and writing one's name in the air with a sparkler.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Gruney » October 30th, 2019, 9:38 pm

Grasshopper wrote:Suffs - did you know that they NEVER burn a Guy Fawkes at st. Peter's School in York? And why - because he was a pupil there.


Grassey - you never cease to amaze me. Absolutely marvellous.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby earthmaiden » October 30th, 2019, 10:39 pm

There used to be parties at Halloween with bobbing for apples and fancy dress at people's houses or in a village hall connected with school or Brownies etc. but never a big thing so close to bonfire night.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Busybee » October 30th, 2019, 10:41 pm

Gruney wrote:
Grasshopper wrote:Suffs - did you know that they NEVER burn a Guy Fawkes at st. Peter's School in York? And why - because he was a pupil there.


Grassey - you never cease to amaze me. Absolutely marvellous.


Bonfire night and mischief night are taken a bit more seriously in and around York, although I think mischief night seems to be on the wane. I hate fireworks and a big positive of living where we do is that we are too isolated for trick or treaters and fireworks, just as well as our dog is petrified of loud bangs.

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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby StokeySue » October 31st, 2019, 12:43 am

I think there are a few things
One is that Halloween is something you can do at home, you can carve a pumpkin or make a pie or a mask
Fireworks, certainly the small displays for children, aren’t really considered something you do at home any longer. There’s more awareness of the safety issues gardens are smaller and more families live in apartments. People do go to big firework displays, and often pay good money for tickets.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 31st, 2019, 7:22 am

The sums it up well Sue.

I almost bought a decorated toffee apple yesterday. Then I remembered I had a fruit bowl full of apples and put it back. Oh, the pull! I won't be carving a pumpkin as I have nowhere to put it other than the windowsill, and I'll not do that again since I set fire to my curtains with a carved butternut one year.

I will watch the huge firework display at Dunstable's football ground on 5th from my kitchen window like I did last year. I have a beautiful view. It is free to go but I'll stay in the warm and dry with nibbles.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby earthmaiden » October 31st, 2019, 8:50 am

Any Halloween decorations near doors or windows will give the signal that you are up for brats knocking on your door. I usually sit in the dark watching TV or PC until after 9pm as I really disagree with allowing children to knock on strangers' doors at night to beg. Different if it's people you know and has been prearranged. The local art gallery has its AGM tonight- that might be preferable :lol:.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Seatallan » October 31st, 2019, 9:13 am

I leave sweeties in Halloween themed baskets on the doorstep along with some pumpkin candles and a big note stuck on the door asking trick or treaters not to ring the bell because we have a nervous cat (Ollie hates it when the doorbell rings and runs away to hide) and just to help themselves to sweeties. It usually worked at the old house (although there was always some little :evil: who would ring the doorbell just for the 'fun' of it) and it will be interesting to see what it is like in the new house. At least it's a rural village and although there are children on the wee estate we live on they're very well-behaved (so far at least :) ).

Mr S detests Halloween with a vengeance. I don't mind it particularly but I do wish it wasn't so ubiquitous now.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby cyprusmoira » October 31st, 2019, 9:26 am

I think that some benign movies such as ET helped spread trick or treat, in that film the children are accompanied by their mother. The less said about the Hallowe'en slasher films the better.
Hallowe'en has now taken over in Cyprus, there is no history of its being celebrated here.

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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby StokeySue » October 31st, 2019, 10:30 am

I’ve only ever had Hallowe’en visits from very young children, and by prior arrangement “will Auntie Sue be in?” so obviously fine

Someone set off a very loud firework in the street yesterday, I assume teens, as I could hear one of the neighbours very firmly pointing out that if they set off their other one right in the middle of the Common not only would it be safer and less annoying but they’d get a much better look at it
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Herbidacious » October 31st, 2019, 12:41 pm

How sweet! (children, not fireworks)
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby TeresaFoodie » October 31st, 2019, 1:11 pm

I have got this to watch tonight.

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt1396484/

I don't have a sofa to hide behind. :lol: I will stick this on after 'The Accident' as I haven't got to get up early tomorrow. So, a gloomy night ahead expected! :lol: Am wondering on nibbles....
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby earthmaiden » October 31st, 2019, 1:25 pm

Tezza - your nails will be enough to nibble I suspect! :o
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Seatallan » October 31st, 2019, 1:42 pm

As I've said previously (rant, rant, rant... :) ) fireworks used to drive me bonkers where we lived before. We fronted onto a park and every blinking night from now through to mid February (after Chinese NY was over and done with) someone was out there letting them off (and often in the early hours). Ollie, like many cats, isn't keen on them at all (though he's worse with the 'whistling' ones than the bangie ones) but we didn't relish being woken up regularly at 2.00 or 3.00am either :evil: .

Thankfully, so far, there's nothing like that here. There's an organised display at a castle a few miles off (also used as a wedding and party venue so we've occasionally heard fireworks from there previously) but none of the random letting off we used to get at the old address. Long may it last.... :D
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby TeresaFoodie » November 1st, 2019, 9:41 am

earthmaiden wrote:Tezza - your nails will be enough to nibble I suspect! :o


:lol:

I opted for an Indian takeaway delivery, and whilst digesting that, and watching The Accident, I fell asleep! So I'll do the scary film tonight. :grin: And the fingernails also live another day!

By the way, no trick or treaters at my door last night. Oh, the beauty of living up on the first floor. I did pop over to the Co-op for a jar of lime pickle, and the staff were very well dressed as witches and ghouls. And someone mentioned the film ET. Our street reminded me of the scene with all the little 'uns scurrying around in their Halloween outfits. It was actually quite magical. All the kiddies seemed to be with grown ups. What a lovely way for them to spend their evening.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby StokeySue » November 1st, 2019, 9:56 am

Unfortunately I think the fireworks, mainly scheduled for tomorrow, will be rained off
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Herbidacious » November 5th, 2019, 5:47 pm

There are a lot going off right now (started at 4.30pm), and my cats are very scared :( I think under beds right now.

They spent Sunday night crouched on the stairs, and, no doubt, Friday and Saturday night, but we were at MIL's.
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby earthmaiden » November 5th, 2019, 11:34 pm

Our local 'proper' pub has a display (in the middle of quite a built up area) at 9pm every Guy Fawkes night. Tonight they did not disappoint those who like fireworks. Those who don't, all got onto Facebook in a rage, it was most entertaining ;).
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby Herbidacious » November 6th, 2019, 8:45 am

I really do like them. We never had them as a child. The first time I saw a big display must have been in about 2001 at Ally Pally. I was utterly wowed. But the cats are terrified. Lily was still skulking round on her belly hours after they'd finished.

When I was growing up, we went to the bonfire party of a very affluent colleague of my father's a few times. It was a 30ft high affair, and lots of traditional food. I remember trying dripping on toast for the first time. It was delicious. My parents' reason for no fireworks was my sister's blindness in one eye. (...!?!) But I think they were really just a bit chicken. (Father with cerebral palsy - probably not such a good idea as slow reaction times and couldn't run. So maybe just my mum was a chicken. I probably am too.)
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Re: Whatever happened to Bonfire Night?

Postby PatsyMFagan » November 6th, 2019, 9:22 am

While my daughter is living with me (her flat still uninhabitable through flood damage :evil: :rolleyes: :td: ) I am in charge of her cat while she is at work. Last night I received instructions to feed Dixie a bit earlier before the fireworks got noisy, which I duely did. I then decided to close the bedroom (blackout) curtains and turn the tv to a Rock radio station … Dixie sat there all the time not turning a hair …

I live where there are plenty of stables and private horse owners who have been complaining bitterly on our local FB group about the thoughtlessness and cruelty of letting off fireworks in the vicinity of these places. Personally I think all fireworks should be banned and only available for commercial displays … the closest to a phobia I have is fear that a firework will land on me, so I will only watch them under cover and preferably from behind glass. :scared: :terrified:
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