Tips for a Great Bonfire Party


Guy Fawkes Night is great fun to celebrate - with fireworks, bonfires and yummy food so if you are planning your own celebration this year, here are some tips on making it fun and safe.

Safety is the most important consideration

If you are planning on setting off your own fireworks rather than attending an organised display remember to follow the fireworks code (see below) and show consideration for your neighbours by not setting them off too late at night.

If you thinking of actually lighting a bonfire, check your local council’s Bonfire Regulations for permissible times and what may or may not be burnt. (Composting is a much better way of disposing of garden waste by the way…..). If you prepare your bonfire in advance, remember that hibernating hedgehogs may creep into the pile if it looks cosy, so check before you set it alight.

Music for the Royal Fireworks by G.F. Handel

Themed music is always fun!

We all know about Handel’s Fireworks music, but how about Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture? With its cannons works well, and how about Vangelis’ Chariots of Fire or Light My Fire, originally by The Doors and covered by many others, The Unforgettable Fire by U2, Fire by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown? You probably have your own favourites.

Food is the best bit!

Traditionally you should serve baked potatoes cooked in the bonfire. They can be wrapped in tinfoil and the long, slow cooking time makes them delicious. For the impatient, you can always start them off in the microwave, without the tinfoil wrapping, of course.

The other tradition is bonfire toffee, dark, sweet, treacle toffee with just a slightly burnt taste. This can be eaten alone or used to make toffee apples.

There are lots of bonfire night recipes to try at Hookery Cookery.

The Fireworks Code

  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114.
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box.
  • Follow the instructions on each firework.
  • Light them at arm’s length, using a taper.
  • Stand well back.
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit.
    Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
  • Always supervise children around fireworks.
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
  • Never give sparklers to a child under five.
  • Keep pets indoors.

Welephant is the Fire Services mascot and his website includes a delightful story for children, which tells how he and his friend Spikey have a safe fireworks night.

About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of eParenting.

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