Yesterday we finally went to Lewes (East Sussex) to witness the infamous bonfire night celebrations.
Everyone in the UK (and beyond) has heard of this spectacle: The burning effigies, the rolling of tar barrels and how deeply grained the event is in our folklore. Always held on 5 November, unless the 5th falls on a Sunday when they are held on Saturday 4th, the event not only marks the date of the uncovering of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, but also commemorates the memory of the seventeen Protestant martyrs from the town burned at the stake for their faith.
Many people deny that pagan undertones exist but I can’t believe this. The whole evening was an anarchic assault on the senses from the moment we got off the train at 5pm till we limped off at 2ish. Every culture, era and nationality collides into this maelstrom that borders on insanity – but resolutely life affirming and incredibly exciting. There are plenty of reading resources about this event – Personally – I was in it for the folklore experience and photo opportunities.
Here are some photos I took in-between dodging the bangers (lots) and watching one of many superb firework displays.
All images ©Paul West