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Life in the UK, Snippets of life

Winchester Bonfire Night, Take Two

Three years ago, I went to Winchester Bonfire Night with a group of friends. Bringing a DSLR camera felt like too much at that time, so I left with only my phone. I thought it was a good decision, until later that evening when I saw the bonfire and fireworks displays. I cursed myself for being too lazy, and was determined to bring a DSLR camera for the next time.

That ‘next time’ was yesterday, and save for a few mishaps at the beginning (like forgetting to charge the camera battery so having to do it on the 20-minute train ride to Winchester), I finally managed to take a few decent photos that I missed 3 years ago.

A quick story about this tradition: Celebrated on the 5th of November, Guy Fawkes Night is the anniversary of the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot, a plan to blow up the British parliament. In 1605, a group of men, led by Catholic Robert Catesby, planned to kill King James I and the Lords at the opening of the parliament. The Catholics had suffered under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and when King James I took the throne, things weren’t much better. Guy Fawkes was only one of the plotters. As he was experienced with explosives, he was given the task to light the fuse in the cellar of the house, which was located beneath the parliament building. He was caught red-handed when he was guarding the barrels of gunpowder, and was tortured until he revealed the names of other plotters. The Brits, with their sense of humor, celebrate the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot by burning and blowing up things. This funny article sums up some of the weird things about the traditions.

Back to the event…

We arrived in Winchester early to collect our tickets, and waited at a local pub for the march to start.

We were among the first people who got to the field, so we managed to get a sweet spot at the front, for an uninterrupted view of the bonfire. The night was cold, and for some reason, the whole thing was delayed. With feet that had gone numb and cold that had started to inch its way to my bones, I was more relieved than happy when the fuse was lit. Soon, the fire got bigger, giving this impressive view and the much-needed warmth.

When the fire died down a bit, the fireworks started. This time, I knew I’d have at least a solid 20 minutes to get as many shots as I liked.

It was as amazing as I’d remembered. Still impressive, still beautiful, and still took my breath away. It brought so many memories of my time here as a student, and with that, a pang of sadness. My masters year is one of the most adventurous, amazing times of my life; a phase that ended too soon. It brought me a chance to meet some of the best people I’ve known, and despite the short time we had, we bonded pretty quickly. We don’t see each other as much as we’d like now that we live in different corners of the world, and going to Winchester yesterday reminded me of those good old times, and that I missed them heaps.

I guess bonfire and fireworks always make me feel a bit sentimental.

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7 Comments

  • Reply kutubuku

    Cakeup foto2nya….

    Tapi aku kalau petasan / kembang api udah keburu bete duluan karena peliharaanku takutnya setengah mati :( jadi sedih :( Kaya kalau tahun baru, aku udah ga bisa kemana2, harus nemenin mereka karena mereka ketakutan dan mana apartemenku ga 100% soundproof kan :/

    November 6, 2017 at 12:12 pm
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Thank you!

      Iya, di sini yang punya binatang peliharaan (kebanyakan dog owners) pasti stress juga mendekati Guy Fawkes night ini. Kasian juga ya sama peliharaannya :( Ada yang sengaja di-tranquilize sehari drpd mereka stress denger kembang api

      November 8, 2017 at 7:20 pm
  • Reply aggy87

    I love bonfire night! It always got me excited back when I was little, and seeing your pictures certainly brought back lots of lovely memories!

    November 8, 2017 at 3:58 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Same here (even now that I’m an adult, the excitement is still crazy). Glad the pics brought back good memories to you :)

      November 8, 2017 at 7:23 pm
  • Reply inlycampbell

    Seru banget yaaa.. di Blenheim, ada yang main kembang api juga pas Guy Fawkes night itu.. Tentunya ga semeriah kayak di kota besar, cuma karena jam 9 kurang baru gelap, jadinya menjelang mau tidur, baru kedengaran jedar jeder dimana2 hehe..

    November 8, 2017 at 9:59 pm
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Waah ada juga di sana ya? Iya susah ya di sana pas lagi summer, jadi nunggu nelap lama banget baru bisa nyalain kembang apinya. Lumayan ganggu ya kalo mau tidur :D

      November 13, 2017 at 10:06 pm
      • Reply inlycampbell

        Iya, ada juga, Dixie.. Nah iya bener, untungnya disini ada jam malamnya.. Diatas jam 11 sudah gak boleh main kembang api.. ( Di Blenheim ya, gak tahu kalau di kota lain )

        Btw, NZ tuh karena bagian dr British Commowealth, jadi apa2 ngikut hihihi.. Lah wong pas Princess Charlotte lahir aja, dibunyiin meriam atau apa gitu di Wellington ( pas aku disana, tapi lupa meriam atau tembakan ).

        November 14, 2017 at 5:12 am

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