Bonfire night is an English tradition which is steeped in political and social history. Small children are far too young to understand this, but they still enjoy chanting this popular rhyme which has lots of rhythm and atmosphere:
Remember, Remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why Gunpowder treason,
should never be forgot!
There are bonfire parties up and down the country, fireworks and bangers galore. But in our local area of Sussex, bonfire night has an extra special significance. Lots of our neighbouring villages have bonfire societies where they carefully plan and fundraise throughout the year. There are colourful costume processions, roaring bonfires and enough fireworks to leave your ears ringing ’til Christmas.
The biggest of all of the bonfire events is held at Lewes, where the whole town is taken over with the celebrations. There are multiple processions, with full fancy dress and parades for the kids. But history is remembered by the symbolic burning of crosses to commemorate the 17 Protestant martyrs killed in Lewes during the reign of Mary Tudor.
The Lewes celebrations are big and noisy, and although very exciting, they can be a bit too much for younger kids. So we always took our kids to the smaller village of Barcombe nearby which was much more family friendly!
If you have a young family, you don’t need to miss out. As long as little ones are well wrapped up and in slings or buggys everyone can join in the fun. It’s obviously better to choose a family friendly display & some ear muffs or defenders may also be a good idea!