What is Bonfire Night & Why Celebrate 5th November?

I can’t believe it’s coming around to bonfire night again. It just seems 5 minutes ago that I was 7 months pregnant this time last year when it was bonfire night.

I first learned about bonfire night and the history around it when I was in primary school many moons ago. Guy Fawkes tried blowing up the houses of parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder. But he was not the ringleader in the gunpowder plot. He was just the poor guy who got caught trying to ignite the explosives!

Today in the UK we celebrate 5th November by letting off fireworks having massive bonfires and throwing straw dummies called ‘guy’s’ onto the bonfires. The fireworks are let off to represent the explosives that were never used by the plotters.


Organised Displays

There are many places that have organised bonfire nights and fireworks displays which are much better for safety reasons. Our local free visitor attraction and heritage site – Heartlands here in Cornwall put on a massive firework display last year. Thousands of people turned up to watch the spectacular event. You could see the fireworks for miles. I reckon the display lasted at least 20 minutes. Which is a lot of fireworks going up in the air.

Heartlands really do make an evening out of bonfire night. As well as the main firework display and bonfire, they have an evening of live music, fairground rides, a bar and food stalls. It’s free admission as well hence the thousands of people showing up. You only have to pay for car parking.

Bonfire night

Did You Know?

  • Up until 1959 it was illegal not to celebrate bonfire night
  • You can be fined £5000 if you are caught throwing a firework
  • If you hold 3 sparklers together, they produce as much heat as a blowtorch used to join metal.


Please be safe this bonfire night and remember the firework code:

  • keep fireworks in a closed box, and only use one at a time.
  • Light fireworks at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back.
  • Keep naked flames away from fireworks.
  • Never return to a firework once it’s lit.
  • Don’t put fireworks in pockets.
  • Never throw fireworks.
  • Direct rocket fireworks away from crowds.
  • Never use petrol or paraffin on bonfires.
  • Make sure the bonfire is put out before you leave.

Make sure your pets are safe on bonfire night. I know from growing up on a small holding animals hate loud noises from fireworks especially the whizzing sounds. My dad checks on them regularly when the fireworks are out.

Remember, remember, the fifth of November

Gunpowder treason and plot

We see no reason Why Gunpowder treason

Should ever be forgot ….


Thank you for sharing

One thought on “What is Bonfire Night & Why Celebrate 5th November?

  1. The 1606 Act requiring observance of 5th November was actually repealed a century earlier, in 1859, as part of the measures to damp down extreme Protestant agitation in the wake of the Catholic Emancipation Act.

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