On Saturday the 8th of November some of us went to the 56th annual Winchester bonfire night and fireworks, where over 20,000 people gathered to celebrate Guy Fawkes. For those of you who don’t know, it is a tradition to celebrate Guy Fawkes every 5th of November (or around that time). This tradition began on the 5th of November 1605 after a group of Catholic conspirators including Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the House of Lords in London. Luckily the plot failed because Guy Fawkes was caught red-handed and King James I survived. In celebration, people lit bonfires around London, a tradition that has been continued every year throughout Britain, usually accompanied by impressive firework displays. 

The initial plan was to do a walking tour of the city during the day, however due to the lovely weather most people didn’t want to brave the outdoors. A few of us went to the Great Hall and  saw the famous Round Table before spending the rest of the day sheltered in a pub where we drank some good old British cider and ate some traditional fish and chips. Miraculously the rain stopped shortly before the start of the torch-lit procession through the city, the atmosphere was calm and peaceful and the surroundings looked especially picturesque in the torch-light. The procession was certainly a new experience for many of us, myself included!

The procession led to a big park, where there was an impressive bonfire - it was so big that it was definitely reassuring to have a fire engine close by. Then after the countdown the firework display finally began...it was definitely worth the wait, it was truly spectacular and lasted for an impressively long time! To be honest, I’m usually quite sceptical about firework displays, but this one was definitely worth seeing, even if our feet got really wet and muddy! All in all, it was a very British experience and I'm sure that everyone who came had a great time! 


Written by Gen Nutakki - ESN Southampton Social Secretary