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.
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?