As it’s Bonfire Night we thought we’d give Haven fans a little history lesson on why November the 5th is the brightest night of them all, as well as some top tips on making the best bonfire!You probably know this already but the tradition of bonfire night dates back to the 17th Century when on 5 November 1605 a man called Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested for trying to blow up the House of Lords. The plot failed so to celebrate that King James 1 survived people lit bonfires all over London… this tradition has remained and now lots of people celebrate all over the UK.
How to build a bonfire
Building a bonfire is a fun activity for all the family and friends. When I was a child we used to get permission from the council to organise a bonfire on the field opposite our house. All the mums used to make hot chocolate, flapjacks and Parkin (my mum was from Leeds and this was a Yorkshire tradition, it’s a very yummy cake made from black treacle). Then when the fire died down we put on jacket potatoes wrapped in foil and chestnuts for us all to munch on. It’s a great way to get rid of any old wood especially if you’ve been doing some pruning. A bit obvious but just make sure you choose a good spot away from the house, trees, fences and plants as heat will damage just as much as fire will and you don’t want to destroy growth for next year.
You need to ensure you have a good lot of dry fuel. We started our fire by stuffing a cardboard box with newspaper and card. We made a hole at the base of one side and pulled some of the paper through like a taper. We then made a tripod of thick posts to form a strong base. We then started to build up around it, making sure we left access to the hole as this is where we lit the fire. Fill in the gaps at the base with smaller twigs and leaves but don’t over stuff it as you need to ensure there’s space around to allow air to circulate.
If you have a lot to burn make a separate pile… you can feed the fire as the evening goes on. Then as the fire dies down you can toast some marshmallows 🙂
How to build a guy
Another tradition that was really popular when I was a child was to make a guy. This was to represent Guy Fawkes… a bit morbid I know but it wasn’t all bad as we used to take it around in a pushchair and collect money for the local hospice.
This is a great idea to get the kids gathering leaves up in the garden!
Find some old trousers and an old sweat shirt and tie the legs at the ankles and arms at the wrists.
Stuff tightly with leaves and/newspaper.
Then make some small holes in the bottom of the sweatshirt and the top of the trousers all the way around.
Then lace the top and bottom of the guy together.
To give him extra rigidity you can poke long sticks down his back and across his arms.
To make the head take a balloon and wrap it in a shirt or t shirts and tie it to make a neck.
Then lace this to the neck of the sweatshirt.
Use face paints and draw the face on.
If you have a hat then you can pop this on too!
Then place on top of the bonfire.
Fun fact! Many places in York won’t actually make a Guy as he once went to school there and they don’t want to burn a fellow Yorkshire-man! He once went to St Peters school just outside of the bar walls.
Traditional game is apple bobbing …
Fill a bowl of water and place whole apples in it.
Then with your hands behind your bag using only your mouth try to retrieve an apple.
What we did is have two bowls and two teams as we raced to see which team could get the most apples out!
Another game is to tie a sticky bun on some string and once again with your hands behind your back try to eat the bun. Do this as a race against someone else to see who can finish first.
Have a fun and safe bonfire night love Haven!
Make sure the kids wear gloves when holding the sparklers
Have a bucket of water ready to put the used sparklers in
Place your fireworks in sand or mud
A large plastic box with a lid to store the fireworks until you are ready to light them.
Torch to ensure you can read the instructions on the fireworks.