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Saturday, 16 January 2010

Sights of UK: Guy Fawkes Night

Note: High resolution images of some of the following photos are available. These photos are marked with [HiRes] tags in their captions. Click on the photos to view their higher resolution images.

When I departed Malaysia, I knew I'd leave all sorts of colourful festivals behind me. Hari Raya was like two weeks away, and despite the inappropriate timing, my craving for Chinese Rice Dumplings ("ba zang") got incredibly strong recently.

However, being in a new country also means embracing new exciting celebrations. Hallowe'en and Christmas are surely at the top of the list of anybody going to an English-speaking country.

Fun with flame
[HiRes] Guy Fawkes Night, Nottingham, 5th November.

This post, however, is about neither. At the 5th of November, the Brits celebrate a festival called the Guy Fawkes Night. You may be familiar with its alternative name Bonfire Night.

[HiRes] Bonfire.

Apparently, this celebration rooted in the 17th century, when Guy Fawkes and a number of people made a fruitless attempt at removing the UK's Houses of Parliament from the face of Earth.

Fire-lit Crowd
The crowd in Battersea Park, London, gathering around a large bonfire.

The evening of the Night sees people gather around in specific locations for a large bonfire, symbolising the burning of Guy Fawkes. Some actually build scarecrow-like figures just for the sake of burning.

Catching Fire
[HiRes] I'm catching fire. Literally. With a camera.

Fireworks are also part of the celebration, usually after the fire.

Fireworks 0
[HiRes] Recycled photo from Start the Year With A Bang

Fireworks 7

Fireworks 1

I attended two such events, one in Nottingham on the 5th of November, and another one in Battersea Park, London, on the 7th.

Fireworks 3

And in case you don't know, festivals like Hallowe'en and Guy Fawkes Night do not mean holiday for schoolgoers, not here in the UK.

Fireworks 2

Geez, I never knew you could get a festival named after you by attempting to blow up the Parliament.


  1. it was! you could feel the feet from like 20 metres away. not just faint heat though. at london, it got so hot people all dispersed... just too hot. the one in nottingham had a fence surrounding it at a safe distance so it was fine.

    by the way, i had to pay like £3 for the one in london but it was so worth it. the one in nott was free.

  2. oh, if you were wondering how tall the fire was, it was easily as tall as a 4-storey building at its peak

  3. Beautiful Fireworks. Love the last five images of fire works. Keep blogging and thanks.

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