Your quintessentially British Bonfire Night

A round-up of ideas to get your party started

Bonfire Night, officially celebrated in the UK on November 5th, has rather odd historical origins. Guy Fawkes was part of a failed Catholic plot to blow up King James and the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Ever since, we have commemorated the failure of the so-called Gunpowder plot by burning effigies of Guy Fawkes! If you are planning your own Bonfire Night event this year, here are some ideas:

Matchbox invites

If you are planning on inviting people round, then you could create a Facebook event with some bonfire themed images. But if you are feeling a bit more creative, you could make some cool matchbox invites instead? There are some clever ideas on Pinterest on how to do this, but all you’d need are a few cheap matchboxes and some basic craft supplies. A great one to try with the little ones!

Fire fancy dress

Why not set the tone with fire themed fancy dress? You get people to come as firemen, as happy campers around a campfire, or as characters from films about fire? Or, just ask people to come in colourful clothes in shades of red, yellow and orange.

Baby, I’m a firework…

Brits go crazy for fireworks during the Bonfire season. Did you know fireworks, along with gunpowder, actually originated in Ancient China? Fireworks are fun, but it is very important to be safe, as annually the UK sees up to 990 firework-related accidents during the party season! Don’t become part of the statistics: be safe and follow these safety guidelines. Alternatively, head out to the city to see some family-friendly firework displays. Remember to keep your cats and dogs indoors, as they find fireworks very stressful.

Keep it simple

As Bonfire Night follows on the heels of Halloween, many people recycle their decorations! To set the party mood quickly why not try something different like colourful balloons? Just a few candles dotted around the room and a nice lit fire can also help you set the mood.

Camp-fire chow

Traditional Bonfire Night food fare includes food that can be cooked around a camp fire, or which evokes that special outdoorsy feeling. American style layered biscuits, s’mores, originally a nineteenth-century Girls Scout recipe, have become very popular recently. S’mores are great as they are ready in minutes, ridiculously easy to make, and popular with everyone (especially the kiddies and the young at heart). BBC Good Food has collated a handy Bonfire Night recipe guide.

Come on baby light my fire?

The trick to successful party music is to alternate between guilty pleasures and floor-fillers. There are lots of great party music playlists out there, but this recently published playlist only includes songs about fire. You’ll see great songs like Prodigy’s Firestarter on there, but we think they are missing a trick by not including the classic Doors anthem Light my Fire!

Bonfire bonanza

The main event! You can easily build a bonfire in your back-garden. But, if you don’t fancy the scorch marks, there are places you can go watch community bonfires for free. Most cities will have a central one, or smaller ones dotted around the city. The small Devonshire village of Ottery St Mary is famous for its annual tar barrel burning which culminates in a massive bonfire. This tradition dates back hundreds of years and attracts thousands of visitors.

There is still time to get organised and plan your Bonfire Night with Perfect Party.

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