Bonfire Night 2021 live – Best fireworks events near me and displays in and around London

IT'S that time of year again – Bonfire Night is upon us once more.

With events more or less entirely called off due to covid last year, 2021 is a chance for families up and down the country to make up for lost time.

So whether you're looking for the best fireworks displays in your area, the latest weather forecasts or if you're simply hoping to bag some great Guy Fawkes-themed supermarket deals, we have you covered.

This live blog will cover absolutely everything Bonfire Night related so make it your one-stop shop for making plans and grabbing a bargain this year.

Read our Bonfire Night live blog below for the very latest updates…

  • Milica Cosic

    £50,000 fine or even a prison sentence

    It is predicted that hundreds of thousands of bonfires will be lit next weekend as Brits mark Guy Fawkes Night, with fire crews being up to four times as busy on November 5.

    The Environment Agency has asked people planning on having bonfires at home to ensure they are only using clean, non-commercial waste, or they could be at risk of a £50,000 fine.

    The burning of most types of waste is illegal in the UK, and can cause pollution which could be extremely harmful to family, friends and neighbours.

    Sam Pickard of the Environment Agency said: “Bonfires are not to be used for a seasonal clear-out of your rubbish. It is not an excuse to get rid of difficult to dispose of rubbish by burning it yourself or asking others to do it for you.

    “We want to encourage people to make sure they dispose of their waste legally and safely at their recycling centre or through their doorstep collections. And if you are responsible for a bonfire, when you are doing your checks for wildlife also look to see if anyone has added rubbish to your bonfire.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Stay safe and always follow the firework code

    1.  Never buy fireworks from unlicensed retailers. These fireworks may be unsafe and illegal.

    2.   Avoid setting fireworks off late at night. Be considerate – let your neighbours know you will be having a display, especially if they are elderly or they have pets or children.

    3.  Always keep fireworks in a closed box. Take them out one at a time and close the box.

    4.   Never throw fireworks or put them in your pocket.

    5.  Ensure your pets are safe. There’s expert advice available at petsathome.com

    6.  Carefully follow the instructions on each firework. Never go back to a lit firework unless the instructions advise otherwise

    7.   Never give sparklers to a child under the age of five. Light sparklers one at a time and wear suitable gloves, even when lighting them.

    8.   Never throw spent fireworks on a bonfire.

  • Milica Cosic

    Here's where to bag the best budget fireworks

    This year the big trend is for affordable low noise fireworks, so you can celebrate the big night without the big bang. 

    LOW NOISE:

    Mega Sparklers 10-inch, 5 pack, 50p at Morrisons

    Low Noise Sorcerer Colour Wheels and Roman Candles, £5.99 at Aldi 

    Sparkling Gems Low Noise Fountain 4-Pack, £6 at Morrisons 

    Funky Frog Fountain Box, £10.99 at The Range

    TRADITIONAL:

    Illusion Missile 100 Barrage Shot, £6 at Morrisons

    TNT Magic Selection Box of Fireworks, £6 At Asda

    Standard Fireworks Dyno Rockets, £7.99 at Lidl, or buy three for £20

    Demon Display Pack, £25 at Morrisons

    Prices correct at time of going to press. Deals and offers subject to availability.

  • Milica Cosic

    How many people were behind the plot?

    The main 14, known, plotters were:

    • Robert Catesby (the ringleader)
    • Guy “Guido” Fawkes (the guy who got caught)
    • Thomas Bates,
    • Robert Wintour
    • Thomas Wintour
    • Thomas Percy
    • Christopher Wright
    • John Wright
    • Francis Tresham (believed to have been the one who gave it away)
    • Everard Digby
    • Ambrose Rookwood
    • Robert Keyes
    • Hugh Owen
    • John Grant

    What was the aim of the plot?

    While the majority of us participate with setting fireworks off on Bonfire night, many are still unaware as to why they do so.

    Well the reason was simple, for years plotters had wanted to get a Catholic to succeed Protestant Elizabeth I to the throne.

    But when their last hope effectively died when the Catholic cousin of Elizabeth, Mary, Queen of Scots, was executed in 1588.

    Her son James I, known as James VI in Scotland, inherited her claim instead and came down to England to take up the throne alongside his Edinburgh seat in 1603.

    James was a staunch Protestant, he was the King James of the ‘King James’ Bible’, and had no time for people of his mother’s faith. She had been separated from him as a baby when she fled to England.

    As a result the plotters decided they need to get him out of the way….

    Explained: What are the Bonfire Night rules?

    According to the London Fire Brigade, there is a safety code you should follow when setting off fireworks:

    • Only buy fireworks with the British Standard Kitemark BS7114.
    • Don't drink alcohol and set off fireworks.
    • Keep fireworks in a closed box and follow the instructions carefully.
    • Light them at arm's length using a taper, stand well back.
    • Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn't gone off, it could still explode.
    • Never throw fireworks or put them in your pocket.
    • Do not give sparklers to children under five. Once sparklers have gone out, they are still hot so put them in a bucket of water.
    • Keep your pets indoors if you're setting off fireworks.

    Here's how old you need to be to buy fireworks

    “Adult” fireworks cannot be purchased by under 18s – this doesn’t include things like party poppers.

    The supermarkets are also only selling them in store only rather than online.

    Since 2019, Sainsbury's has not sold any fireworks.

    The legal classification of fireworks is as follows:

    • Category 1s are fireworks which can be handled by children with adult supervision. Examples can include everything from party poppers and Christmas crackers to sparklers.
    • Category 2 or 3 fireworks are the standard fireworks you would see in displays such as standard rockets. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy, handle or set up category 2 or 3 fireworks.
    • Category 4s are the dangerous types which can only be used by the professionals. These are banned for sale to the general public and can only be bought from specialist retailers.

    Is it illegal to set off fireworks in the street?

    It is illegal to set off fireworks in the street in the UK.

    The law says you must not set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places.

    If you’re thinking about using fireworks you should also check with your council to find out about any local rules for setting them off.

    You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally – you could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

    The law also says you must not set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except for Bonfire Night when the cut off is midnight.

    On New Year's Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year the cut off is 1am.

    Making it an extra special night?

    Bookies have slashed the odds on some Brits seeing a white Bonfire Night as temperatures plunge amid a four-day Arctic blast this week.

    Meteorologist Helen Roberts of the Met Office said: “Will there be snow from midnight tonight?

    “Yes is the short answer, with some caveats.

    “It won’t be continuous.

    “There’ll be showers on and off, really over the very highest parts of the Cairngorms and possibly also part of central and southern Highlands.

    “However, that will really be focused for the time being on just the highest peaks.”

    The chilly blast will see snow for the next few days – before things turn milder at the end of the week and rain washes any accumulations away.

    • Milica Cosic

      Best bonfires in Scotland to see

      Leith Bonfire Night 2021, Edinburgh – November 5

      Edinburgh Bonfire Night 2021, – November 5

      Glasgow Bonfire Night 2021, – November 5

      Bught Park, Inverness, November – 5

    • Milica Cosic

      Where to buy fireworks this year?

      For those planning to create their own display, we’ve looked at the cheapest fireworks available – from sparklers to finale boxes – from major supermarkets.

      But note you’ll need to be at least 18 years old to purchase fireworks.The supermarkets are also only selling them in store only rather than online.

      In addition, you should check what regulations your local council has in force regarding fireworks.

      In most cases, you’ll need to be finished by 11pm – except on the actual night of Bonfire Night where the cut-off is midnight.

      It comes as the sales of fireworks become increasingly under scrutiny amid concerns raised by charities that they cause unnecessary distress to pets, wildlife and elderly people.

      This year, Sainsbury’s has once again banned the sale of fireworks from all of its stores. But have other shops followed suit? We explain where you can buy your bangers this year.

      Read more here.

    • Milica Cosic

      Dangerous first aid ‘advice’ you must ignore this bonfire night

      BONFIRE night is full of fun for adults and kids alike – but it also can cause plenty of injuries and accidents.

      It’s good to know what you should – and more importantly – shouldn’t do if you end up needing to leap into action.

      Bonfire night is one of the busiest nights of the year in the UK’s A&E departments.

      There are plenty of old wives’ tale and myths surrounding how to deal with burns and choking. But we have busted the traditional treatments and explained what you should really do.

      Here we’ve collated some first aid tips and myths from St John Ambulance trainer Clive James to keep everyone safe this weekend…

      Read more here.

    • Milica Cosic

      Keeping the pets calm

      The racket of Guy Fawkes Night rockets can be upsetting for animals. Twice as many dogs go missing at fireworks season, the Kennel Club says.

      CBeebies vet Cat Henstridge — Cat the Vet from The Pets Factor — has advice for pet owners . . . 

      Normalise noises: Introducing noises in a controlled way can help pets get used to odd sounds in advance. Sounds Scary is free to download at dogstrust.org.uk. Play it at a low volume when you are with your dog or cat and if they react, reassure them calmly and give them a treat. It shows them you are not worried.

      Doing this a few times before Bonfire Night can lessen its impact, especially for younger dogs. But I don’t recommend it for pets that have previously shown significant signs of firework distress.

      Make a doggy den: Dogs feel most secure in small and enclosed spaces — which will also help to muffle noises.

      On Bonfire Night, make a den from a crate and a blanket, under a table or behind the sofa. If your pet picks its own place, leave them to relax there.

      Turn on some tunes: Pets have very sensitive hearing, so you will not be able to drown out the noises of fireworks, no matter how loud you have the telly. But you can try to muffle the sounds.

      Put on music with a regular, firm, pulsing beat. Something like drum ’n’ bass is ideal.

      Read more here.

    • Milica Cosic

      Explained: Why do we celebrate Bonfire Night with fireworks?

      Bonfire Night is celebrated in the UK by lighting bonfires, burning "Guys", which are effigies styled after the plotter and setting off fireworks.

      People first started lighting bonfires as a celebration that the king hadn't been killed, and the tradition has persisted to this day.

      Fireworks are also set off throughout the country as they are powered by gunpowder, representing the explosives that were never used.

      And yeoman of the guard still search the cellars of the Houses of Parliament before the state opening in November.

      However, it is a ceremonial gesture rather than an actual terrorist hunt, even using old lanterns.

      Funnily enough, and despite being the most famous member of the group, Guy Fawkes didn't lead the plot, he just ended up being caught in Parliament's cellars with a shed load of gunpowder.

    • Milica Cosic

      Why is Bonfire Night on November 5?

      Every year, Bonfire Night falls on November 5!

      The famous rhyme: "Remember, remember the fifth of November," relates to the celebration as it marks the anniversary of the foiled Gunpowder Plot on November 5, 1605.

      The plot revolved around a group of Catholic revolutionaries who wanted revenge for the persecution of their faith in England.

      By renting a house near the Houses of Parliament, one of the plotters, Guy "Guido" Fawkes, managed to smuggle 36 barrels of gunpowder under the building – ready to blow it sky high.

      Guy and his group wanted to kill the king, and timed their attack for the state opening of Parliament.

      But an anonymous tip-off led the police to uncover the plot, and explosives expert Guy Fawkes was caught red-handed, before being tortured into revealing the details of the plot.

      Typically, treasonous plotters like Guy Fawkes would have been hung, drawn and quartered, but Guy's death was a little different.

      The rest of his band were subject to the barbaric killing, but Guy fell from his hanging platform and broke his neck, dying instantly.

    • Milica Cosic

      The best bonfires in London and the South East

      Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival 2021 – November 6 & 7

      Battersea Park Fireworks Show – November 6 & 7

      Musical Fireworks Display, Wimbledon Park – November 5 & 6

      Lewes Bonfire Celebrations – November 5

      Leeds Castle Firework Spectacular, Maidstone – November 6 & 7

      Hatch Warren Firework Display Extravaganza, Basingstoke – November 6

    • Milica Cosic

      Best bonfires in SW England

      Arno’s Vale Bonfire Night, Bristol – November 5

      Fireworks to Music at Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park, Bristol – November 5-7

      Truro Bonfire Night, Cornwall – November 5

      Ottery St Mary, Devon, November 5

      Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, 3 November

    • Milica Cosic

      Who was Guy Fawkes?

      Far from being the plot's ringleader Guy "Guido" Fawkes was merely the trigger man drafted in to set the fuse.

      Born in York he converted to Catholicism following the death of his father and left to become Mercenary fighting for the Spanish against the Protestant Dutch.

      Given his expertise in explosives he was charged with setting and lighting the fuse to the gunpowder.

      He was caught red-handed by the King's men beneath the palace and was tortured for two days at the Tower of London until he gave up his co-conspirators.

      The traditional death for traitors in 17th-century England was to be hanged, drawn and quartered in public. Fawkes would have been forced to watch as his testicles were cut off and his innards ripped out.

      But as he awaited his punishment on the gallows, Fawkes, 35, leapt from the platform and broke his neck.

      He was still hanged and the four parts of his body sent around the country to warn others.

      November 5 was later declared a national holiday and people began burning effigies of Fawkes – called guys – and later setting off fireworks representing the gunpowder.

    • Milica Cosic

      Explained: What was the Gunpowder Plot?

      The revolutionaries had hoped for better treatment from the new monarch James I after 45 years of hounding under the reign of Elizabeth I, and decided on drastic measures when things did not improve under his reign.

      Warwickshire-born Catholic Robert Catesby and his friends planned to kill the King, his ministers and scores of nobles by blowing up the Palace of Westminster during the State Opening of Parliament on November 5, 1605.

      The plotters rented a house nearby and managed to smuggle 36 barrels of gunpowder – around 2.5 tons – into a cellar under the palace ready to blow it sky high.

      The explosives were discovered with hours to spare after an anonymous tip-off warning one peer to stay away.

      To this day the cellars under the Houses of Parliament are ceremonially searched before the annual State Opening.

      A depiction of Guy Fawkes' execution from 1606
    • Milica Cosic

      What are the words to Remember, Remember The Fifth of November?

      There are many versions of the rhyme that have survived in different parts of England since the 17th century.

      Most begin with the same or very similar words. This is the basic form:

      Remember, remember, the Fifth of November
      Gunpowder treason and plot
      I see no reason why gunpowder treason
      Should ever be forgot

      After that there are very different verses that may be included. One goes:

      Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, 'twas his intent
      To blow up the King and the Parliament
      Three score barrels of powder below
      Poor old England to overthrow
      By God's providence he was catch'd
      With a dark lantern and burning match
      Holler boys, holler boys, let the bells ring

      Holler boys, holler boys, God save the King!

    • Milica Cosic

      Remember remember the 5th of November

      "REMEMBER, remember the Fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot," goes the traditional rhyme.

      The plot was centred around a group of Roman Catholic revolutionaries furious at the persecution of their faith in England.

    • Milica Cosic

      For the animals…

      It’s not just the animals in your home that can be scared of fireworks – horses can be too. If you’re a horse owner:

      • Know in advance – check to see if there are going to be any firework displays in your area.
      • Talk to the organisers – where possible, tell the organisers of firework displays that there are horses nearby and ask them to set off their fireworks in the opposite direction.
      • Get BHS advice – for top tips on keeping your horse safe and secure during the firework season, please follow the advice from the British Horse Society.

      Explained: Why is Bonfire Night celebrated with fireworks?

      Bonfire Night is celebrated in the UK by lighting bonfires, burning “Guys”, which are effigies styled after the plotter and setting off fireworks.

      People first started lighting bonfires as a celebration that the king hadn’t been killed, and the tradition has persisted to this day.

      Fireworks are also set off throughout the country as they are powered by gunpowder, representing the explosives that were never used.

      And yeoman of the guard still search the cellars of the Houses of Parliament before the state opening in November.

      However, it is a ceremonial gesture rather than an actual terrorist hunt, even using old lanterns.

      Funnily enough, and despite being the most famous member of the group, Guy Fawkes didn’t lead the plot, he just ended up being caught in Parliament’s cellars with a shed load of gunpowder.

      Explained: which fireworks are legal to buy?

      In law, all fireworks are divided into four different categories:

      • Category 1s are fireworks which can be handled by children with adult supervision. Examples can include everything from party poppers and Christmas crackers to sparklers.
      • Category 2 or 3 fireworks are the standard fireworks you would see in displays such as standard rockets. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy, handle or set up category 2 or 3 fireworks.
      • Category 4s are the dangerous types which can only be used by the professionals. These are banned for sale to the general public and can only be bought from specialist retailers.

      Every little DOES help

      Tesco has finally confirmed that it will be selling fireworks this year.

      Last year, it didn’t sell any big boxes of bangers, offering low-noise ones instead.

      But this year the supermarket is offering a whole range of fireworks.

      These include Titanium Sparklers for £1, low-noise options like the Carnival Selection Box from £7, and a whopping ten different selection boxes in the Firework Party Kit for £110.

      Clubcard holders can also get two “Northern Lights” selection box for £20.

      You can check where your nearest Tesco store is – and if they’re selling fireworks – using the supermarket’s store locator tool.

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