Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Remember, remember...

I was asked on a mailing list last week, about what traditions I observe around this time of year, unrelated to Halloween in its US-style commercialised form. Sticking with public celebrations here:

Growing up in Derbyshire we had Bonfire Night on the 5th of November, sometimes preceded by groups coming round the village houses asking for a 'penny for the Guy' (not always, and in cities I'd see similarv groups hanging around near shops, asking instead). We made turnip (or technically swede) lanterns (I never saw pumpkins except in US cartoons) and on Bonfire Night we'd all assemble round the village green for judging of lanterns and guys before processing down to the recreation ground with burning torches to add the guys to the bonfirs, light it and then watch the fireworks (we had fireworks at home too, but usually only a small box).

There was also Mischief Night on the 4th of November, when Dad had to remove the gates from our drive so the village lads wouldn't steal them.

When I went up to Edinburgh, bonfire night was less of a thing, although lots of people would buy fireworks around the beginning of November. The Beltane bonfires got going on a smaller scale for the earlier part of the year (now Edinburgh has two huge fire festivals for Beltane and Samhain).

Everywhere else I've lived since coming back south of the border has had bonfires and fireworks for the local residents around November the 5th, but it doesn't seem as big a thing now that we can have fireworks all year round. I suspect this year we may get more in some areas as Bonfire Night coincides with Diwali.

So, what traditions do people observe in their parts of the world around the turn of the season?
Tags: inspiration, real life, truth stranger than fiction
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