Bonfire Night family traditions

Bonfire Night family traditions

I love Bonfire Night.

Part of it’s standing huddled with friends and family watching in childish wonderment at the amazing sparkling creations against the pitch black sky. Part of it’s getting wrapped up in wooly scarves and hats. And yes, coming from York, part of it’s the Parkin. (I’m still amazed that some people don’t know what Parkin is, so if you haven’t tried it, it’s a sticky ginger cake traditionally made with treacle and oatmeal. It’s traditionally eaten on Bonfire Night, and is from Yorkshire, or maybe just the North – either way, as a northerner I’m all about the Parkin. It’s a gently spiced sticky taste of heaven.)

Bonfire night brings back great memories for me. My cousin’s birthday is on bonfire night and when I was little I remember going to his birthday party. They lived on a farm, so we’d sit on hay bales around a huge bonfire with a Guy Fawkes dummy in the middle. I remember the best ever fireworks display I went to in Lancashire where my Uncle was involved. I can’t really remember why he was involved, I think he was just volunteering in the community, but I remember being really excited about going and the fireworks being the best I’d ever seen! As a family we like fireworks – after the millennium we got into the habit of always having fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

fireworks bonfire night

Last week I felt a bit scrooge like about Halloween. I didn’t get Miss Belle a costume this year. I suppose I felt like what’s the point? She’s not even two yet and she doesn’t know what’s going on. She didn’t have a ‘dress up day’ at nursery to go. And I’ve already got a photo of her in a cute pumpkin costume in our photo album from last year.

But I want to make Bonfire Night a thing for her. I want to start our own little Bonfire Night family tradition. So this weekend we will be celebrating Guy Fawkes Night, with fireworks and glow sticks instead of sparklers. Obviously, as she’s so small, it’s going to be low key. We have chosen a small box of the quietist family friendly fireworks from Tesco. There aren’t any rockets or anything too noisy. We bought them last year but Miss Belle wasn’t into them. I’m not sure she will be this year to be fair, but we will give it a go. We thought about going to a local display, but we think they’ll be noise and too late. So, we have friends and their children, one baby, one toddler, coming over for a small fireworks display in our back garden instead.

I’m cooking a warming veggie hot pot with comforting cheesey jacket potatoes for tea. There will of course be hot chocolate and marshmallows. And there will be plenty of sticky Parkin.

Yes, I know Miss Belle probably won’t know what’s going on, and we may have to stand and watch the fireworks from the back door, but I am so excited to be starting our own Bonfire Night family tradition.

I want her to grow up loving Bonfire Night, just like I did.

Will you be celebrating Bonfire Night as a family?



  1. 3rd November 2016 / 5:06 am

    Sounds like the perfect way to introduce Bonfire Night to Miss Belle! I love Bonfire Night and always remember my mum making Parkin when I was a child. I miss Bonfire Night now we are living in the US – although at least we get Thanksgiving which is a nice autumnal holiday! xx

  2. 3rd November 2016 / 7:13 pm

    We love Bonfire night. As a child we used to have bonfires and Parkin and pie and mushy peas. Everyone would gather at our home and it was a lovely tradition. We will be away this year for my uncles birthday so will not be doing our usual traditional things.

    • thisismenow
      3rd November 2016 / 8:26 pm

      Ah that sounds like a great family tradition. Thanks for reading x

  3. 5th November 2016 / 8:42 pm

    I love bonfire night and we’re lucky enough to live sandwiched between two schools who do fireworks on different nights and we can see them from our flat. Tonight both my two year old and 6 month old were mesmerised! It felt like the start of an annual tradition as a family of four (finally. After years of it being just me and my hubby). I love your idea of combining it with marshmallows and hot chocolate. One for next year!

    We didn’t bother with Halloween either. I bought my eldest a costume as we had a fancy dress birthday party but she refused to wear it! I think they are still young for things like that to be honest. #sharingthebloglove

    • thisismenow
      8th November 2016 / 3:01 pm

      Oh lucky you to be able to see some from home, I tried this year but couldn’t see any. Our very small back garden display went well so I’m hoping we can go to a proper display or get a bit more wild with some next year!! Thanks for reading x

  4. 7th November 2016 / 4:44 pm

    Sounds lovely. Sadly, my younger son is scared of all manner of things so bonfire night is more something to “get through” than enjoy. Although I live in hope that one day he will enjoy it. I love a bit of Parkin!

    • thisismenow
      7th November 2016 / 5:08 pm

      Ah yeh it’s not for everyone, last year wasn’t good for us but she seemed to enjoy it more this year which was nice. Thanks for reading X

  5. 8th November 2016 / 8:40 pm

    I love bonfire night. We go to my parents house and we have hot dogs and tomato soup. Then we go outside and watch the fireworks. Its a family tradition that we did when I was a child. I hope it went well and she enjoyed them. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

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