Guy Fawkes Night.

Guy Fawkes Night marks the celebration of a failed plot to assassinate Protestant King James in 1605. (The plan was to replace him with a Catholic head of state.) As part of the Commonwealth, New Zealand celebrates Guy Fawkes Night, but it is just an excuse for fireworks.

In the cities, there are public fireworks displays, but Guy Fawkes is really a night for amateurs. For a few days before Guy Fawkes, fireworks are on sale to the public. (The range of fireworks that are available doesn’t include firecrackers or rockets.)

Friday was Guy Fawkes Night. On his way home from work, Adam bought a box of fireworks.

It had been a scorching hot day, but at 7PM an enormous bank of clouds was rolling in from the south. The wind began to pick up. Gales are common in the Roaring Forties, and we are accustomed to fickle weather on Guy Fawkes Night. Adam is adept at lighting fireworks in wind and rain.

Wellington went forward with its fireworks display. But the conditions up the coast were bad. We decided to postpone setting off our own fireworks.

"We'll do it tomorrow night," I said.

Five was disappointed and tried to stall. When the rain began to bucket down from the night sky, there were tears. The gale blew down the street sign. (This happens from time to time.) There were several power cuts.

But by Saturday afternoon, it was calm enough for Adam to build a bonfire in shelter of the back garden. (It is lovely to sip a glass of wine by the bonfire.) We ate fish and chips, and while we were waiting for it to get dark, we roasted marshmallows.


A bonfire in the garden is almost better than camping.

When it was dark, we could see a few stars. Neighbours from all around began to light their fireworks. We moved to the front garden, which has more open space. Adam lit the wicks of the fireworks that Five chose from the box. The fireworks had names like Gemini and T.N.T. There was noise and light and the smell of gunpowder. And then inside for hot cocoa before bed.


Aliceson said...

You're right, a bonfire at home is WAY better than camping. I think mostly because you can go inside the house to sleep!

My kids love the DIY fireworks too, although they are not old enough to light them. We leave that up to the beer drinking adults. :~/

lisahgolden said...

That' s my kind of celebration. Pyrotechnics and hot chocolate.

Madame DeFarge said...

You have to love toasted marshmallows. In any season.

injaynesworld said...

I didn't realize this holiday even existed, but this is the second post I've read about it today. What a charming bonfire -- perfect for roasting marshmallows. And I love fireworks. They always make me a little emotional. I'm glad you got to celebrate your special day.

Jack Steiner said...

I love a good bonfire- there is something very soothing about it. Maybe it stems from years of camp, I don't know. I just know that I enjoy them.

Suniverse said...

I love bonfires. Loathe camping. I like the outdoors, just not all at once.

Happy Frog and I said...

Hope you are alright, I have missed your blog posts. x

Nick said...

Come on now! You guys celebrate Guy Fawks, but not Thanksgiving? You need to convince your NZ buddies T/G a good feast, even if the Yanks weren't part of the Commonwealth.