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Why Bonfire Night Is One British Tradition You Don’t Want To Miss
There are plenty of Guy Fawkes night celebrations taking place across Wiltshire in 2014. Many are free and some require tickets to be pre-purchased, so check out where you can catch the fireworks displays in Wiltshire this November and start planning your evening outside. Don’t forget your woollies!
Bonfire Night, Fireworks Night, or Guy Fawkes Night? Whatever you call it, the 5th November celebration is one of the best nights out you’ll have this winter! We have poor Guy Fawkes to thank for this uniquely British tradition that guarantees an explosion of fun on a gloomy November night!
Guy Fawkes’ grisly end and the beginning of Bonfire Night traditions
Guy Fawkes probably didn’t know he would become a legendary figure in English history when he opted to join in with the Gunpowder Plot! In 1605, Fawkes and a group of fellow conspirators planned to blow up King James I and his government. Unhappy with the King’s Protestant faith, the Catholics wanted to return England to its former beliefs.
After stashing 36 barrels of gunpowder underneath the Houses of Parliament, the plot was busted after a letter from one of the group to his friend in Parliament was intercepted by the King’s supporters. Guy Fawkes was arrested where he was hiding underneath the Houses of Parliament, tortured until he named his co-conspirators and then executed. Brutal!
Of course, that’s not the last that was heard of Guy Fawkes. An annual celebration takes place every year on 5 November to mark the anniversary of the failed Gunpowder Plot!
What happens on Bonfire Night?
- The highlight of 5 November is the fireworks display! Ranging from little to large, numerous fireworks displays take place on or around 5 November. Expect to be dazzled by colourful rockets, sparkling fountains and exploding Roman Candles.
- Hand-held sparklers are lit and used to create pretty patterns in the darkness.
- An effigy of Guy Fawkes is burned on bonfire, hence the term ‘Bonfire Night’. It’s not always Guy Fawkes who ends up on the fire though – often people will burn figures of modern day villains! The effigy is usually made with old clothes stuffed with newspaper or straw (burns like a dream!)
- Piping hot food is eaten to warm people up in the cold night air – think fluffy jacket potatoes, hot chocolate, filling stew and hot dogs!
Celebrate Bonfire night and enjoy firework displays in some beautiful settings in Wiltshire. Fireworks displays that we know of include:
- An early fireworks and bonfire night with ‘no big bangs’ at Roves Farm, near Swindon on 25 October.
- Firework Spooktacular, Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, 31 October, 6pm.
- Fireworks at Longleat at various dates during October until early November.
- Rotary Spireworks, Salisbury Livestock Market, 1 November.
- Chippenham Rotary Club Bonfire Night, 1 November.
- Bulkington Fireworks and Bonfire, 1 November, gates open 6pm.
- Malmesbury Bonfire Display organised by the Round Table held at St Aldhems Mead, 1 November start time approximately 6.30pm.
- Warminster Garrison Fireworks Display, Land Warfare Centre, 1 November, 6.30pm.
- The Lions Fireworks Spectacular and Funfair, Polo Grounds, Marlborough Road, Swindon, 1 November from 5.30pm.
- Fireworks at Lydiard Park, 1 November from 5.30pm.
- Highworth Fireworks, Highworth Recreation Centre, 1 November, 6.30pm.
- Cricklade fireworks display, Cricklade Cricket Field, Abingdon Court Lane, 5 November, 7.30pm.
- Melksham Fireworks Display, Forest Community Centre, 5 November.
- Bonfire and Fireworks evening, Heytesbury 7 November.
- Biddestone Fireworks display and bonfire, Village Hall, 7 November, 6.30pm
- Fireworks and Fun, Bishops Cannings, 7 November from 6pm.
- Bonfire and Fireworks, Crown Inn, Broad Hinton, 7 November, 5.30pm.
- Calne Bonfire and Firework display at Beversbrook Sports & Community Facility, 8 November.
- Christian Malford Bonfire Night, 8 November.
- Codford Fireworks evening, 13 November, 6.30pm.
- White Horse Country Park, Westbury, 13 November.
- Chitterne, 14 November, from 6pm.
London Firework Displays – click here
The Stonehenge Travel and Tour Company
Guided Tours of Stonehenge and the Salisbury area
There are still some spaces left for the 20th February and 20th March open days from 12pm -2pm at the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre. These are free events but you must pre book and call 0870 3331183 stating Stonehenge Community Open Days as the event you want to book onto. You can book up to 4 people and must be a Wiltshire resident.
The Stonehenge Learning and Outreach Group with ourselves, Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, Wiltshire Museum Devizes, Wessex Archaeology and National Trust will meet this week and share their learning events that are happening too.
Join us for a series of open days for the local community at the new Stonehenge visitor centre, featuring a special tour with Susan Greaney, Senior Properties Historian and Lisa Holmes, Community Projects manager.
Come and find out about the making of the exhibition, the opportunities for local voices to contribute to future exhibitions and how you will be able to make use of the centre for learning events.
Community Heritage Ambassador
Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours