Lewes Bonfire Night

Where: Lewes, Sussex - town centre
When: 5th November (if the 5th is a Sunday it's held on Saturday 4th)
Time: 5.30 until midnight


Bonfire Night celebrations are common throughout the UK, but the event at Lewes is in a league of its own. The six Bonfire Societies in town each organise processions around their neighbourhood, then join together in the evening for the Grand United Parade which is a huge torch-lit fancy-dress procession with music. This is followed by each Society holding its own bonfire and fireworks display. Lewes is traditionally a Protestant town and this may at least partially explain the local enthusiasm for the November 5th commemoration of the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot; the fiery crosses carried in the parade are in memory of  the 17 Lewes Martyrs, burned at the stake for their Protestant faith in the Sixteenth Century, and effigies of the  Pope are still burned. As with all such events, expect plenty of loud bangs, flames and other hazards.

Helpful Hints

Programmes are on sale in town on the day giving approximate timings of the processions and fires. The Lewes Bonfire Council website advises on appropriate clothing (nothing too good as sparks can fly and it can be muddy at the fire sites), parking etc (road closures start in the afternoon and caution is advised) and tries to keep the event for locals (which I have sympathy with, but it’s such a major festival that it attracts huge crowds ). Small children and animals should be kept away from the crush. Food and drink are readily available and the Bonfire Societies have their own merchandise so take plenty of cash. It’s loud and smoky and  a lot of fun!

Clic here for the event website : http://www.lewesbonfirecouncil.org.uk/

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