A Quick Guide to Guy Fawkes Night

Of all the strange traditions to encounter when moving to Leeds, Guy Fawkes Night is definitely up there. Guy Fawkes Night (otherwise known as Bonfire Night or Firework Night) takes place on the 5th November. There’s even a rhyme to remember it: Remember, remember, the 5th of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot! 

There are fireworks, sparklers, and usually a burning human effigy known as the ‘Guy’ which is set alight on top of the bonfire.

The night is to celebrate the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when a small group attempted to assassinate King James I by blowing up the House of Lords. When the cellars were searched, Guy Fawkes was discovered guarding the gunpowder. The other plotters were discovered, tortured and sentenced to death.

The fireworks and bonfires used to celebrate this dark story, however, release polluting chemicals and scare animals. That’s not to mention the number of injuries that occur when people take fireworks into their own hands.

This year, why not try attending a public event around Leeds? They’re much safer than trying to make your own display, and more eco-friendly too. If that sounds too wet and cold, why not make some treats for your friends and housemates instead?

Cook some s’mores in the oven by laying out graham crackers on a baking sheet, layering half with marshmallows and the other half with chocolate, then cooking it for a couple of minutes. Sandwich them together and you’re good to go!
If the s’mores have made you thirsty, try this Black Magic Cocktail. It serves four, so there’s plenty to go around.

Black Magic

Here’s what you need:

  • 100ml vodka
  • Jet black food colouring
  • 500ml fresh orange juice
  • 4 tsp grenadine
  1. Mix the vodka and the black food colouring until you have a good black colour.
  2. Divide the orange juice between four glasses, then add a teaspoon of grenadine to each one.
  3. Use the back of a spoon to slowly pour in the vodka. It should sit on top in a neat layer, and really bring the look of Guy Fawkes Night to life!