Celebrating Guy Fawkes’ Night in London in 2012
“Remember, remember the 5th of November, for gunpowder, treason and plot.”
The 5th of November, also known as Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes’ Night, is one the most striking British traditions. You can read more about the Gunpowder Plot in our previous article, but in essence this wickedly cheerful festival celebrates the brutal execution of Catholic Guy Fawkes after he was caught red-handed underneath the House of Lords in London with a tonne of explosives.
With characteristic black humour, this festival is celebrated by fireworks and – among other things – burning a straw effigy of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire. Not enough violence for one night? Take a closer look at the traditions behind the Catherine Wheel – a kind of spinning firework said to resemble the one to which St. Catherine was attached for her execution. Whoever said Britain was a civilised nation?
Now that the Gunpowder Plot is well buried into the past and all brutality highly stylised, Guy Fawkes Night is – somewhat ironically – considered a fun day out for all the family. Memories of Guy Fawkes Night include being strapped into mittens, hat and gloves, heading to a public fireworks display and feeding the neighbourhood kids with mum’s best mushy peas, baked potatoes and chewy “treacle toffee” so hard it had to be broken with a hammer. If you’re looking to experience this most British of festivals, here’s a list of public fireworks displays in London for Bonfire Night 2012.
Public fireworks displays in London during Bonfire Night 2012
“I see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.”
With a funfair, fireworks and around 100,000 attendants, Blackheath Common is the largest public fireworks display in London 2012. It’s generally a good idea to arrive an hour or so before the start time in order to get a good spot. Displays this year feature all kinds of add-ons such as funfairs and laser shows. And our top tip? As every year, we’ll see you in Roundwood Park.
– Blackheath Common.Shooters Hill Rd. Free (donations welcome). Fireworks 8 pm. Funfair and refreshments.
– Richmond Athletic Ground.Twickenham Rd. Entrance £10 (children £5; under fives free). Fireworks 7 pm. Musical display.
– Crystal Palace Park.Thicket Rd. Entrance £5 (children 5-13 £3; under fives free). Children’s fireworks 7pm; main show 8.30 pm. Refreshments and musical display.