Monday, 7 November 2011

Remember, Remember the 5th of November...

Every year, there's the countdown to Christmas. For our family there are two big events before Christmas, and once they're over we can start to celebrate the 25th of December. The second of those (after Halloween) is Bonfire Night. 
In our family it is massive! My Dad has been in it since he was a teenager and his Dad used to march before that. You could say it's a tradition of sorts. I've walked in it as well for the majority of my life as a Tudor, a smuggler and a Greek. I've watched it now, for two years running ever since I've lived in Shropshire and although I don't enjoy it as much, Bonfire Night is still Lewes' biggest event and a sight to behold.
The streets are cordoned off from around five, until two am, but it isn't until later when the fun really begins. 
There are a number of Lewes based societies that parade up and down School Hill before finally ending up at their fire sites to let off the best and brightest fireworks in all of Europe. I have always been Waterloo through and through. 
Bonfire Night is always busy in Lewes no matter what, but on a Saturday night the town is literally flooded with people. Where I was standing it was at least seven deep and occasionally I managed to get to the front of the crowd, to watch the procession. The costumes were incredible, the detail impeccable and the glow from the torches and the flares brings Lewes to life. It's hard to describe what watching it is like without being there yourself. The streets come alive with noise, and light. Each society has one or two bands beating a rhythm, while select society members let of bangers and Chinese firecrackers that make your ears pop and your heart skip a beat. 

Bonfire Night is truly one of the best sights to behold in all of the country, but next year, I think I'll forgo my camera, and pick up a torch.

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