My Mum is an ace detective at tracking down cool things to do. She’s taking me to Lewes today to see the famous Bonfire Night parade and fireworks and I’m so excited. Family and firework time here I come!
Every year the town of Lewes has a huge Bonfire Night parade, fireworks, bonfire and boring of effigies in honour of their history and traditions. Apparently it’s a big deal and the whole town goes into lock down, roads shut and windows get boarded in preparation of the night. Sounds a bit like Notting Hill Carnival to me!
Here’s a little guide to bring you up to speed if you don’t know much about Lewes, the East Sussex town, and why it’s got a famous Bonfire Night.
Lewes is has a rich history due to it sitting at a cut through point on the South Downs thanks to the River Ouse. It’s this location that’s made it a target for revolts, controversy and martyrdom throughout history.
To break it down simply, a very long time ago, 17 people were burned to death for holding protestant religious views in a time when it was illegal to do so. Amanda Severn explains it fully in her blog post on the Hub Pages if you’re looking for a more in-depth description.
Each year the Bonfire Societies burn an effigy of the Pope and declaim him because of this history. It’s fairly famous and happens every year after the parade goes through the town and makes its way out to local fields.
Apparently in more recent years public figures have also gained the same treatment from the Bonfire Night societies. Osama Bin Laden, Alistair Darling and Donald Trump have all had effigies burnt and I’m curious to see who they will have picked tonight to focus their frustrations towards.
Here’s some videos from last year that show you what I’m letting myself in for!
I can’t wait to get down there and take in the atmosphere! I will of course report back with what I thought of the celebrations and if it’s worth a visit next year.
I hope you’ve got great Bonfire night plans today or tomorrow too – stay safe with those sparklers too!