Snapshots #6: Fire and Magic

In the U.K. it has become a strange tradition to remember the 5th of November. As Brits, we are accustomed to the turn over of November with the smokey haze of bonfires, fireworks and sparklers. Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire night or Firework night commemorates that time some disgruntled catholic joined a plot to blow up Parliament (to put it in loose terms). Usually an effigy of Guy Fawkes known as the Guy is put atop of large fires across the country to symbolise his failure in the gunpowder plot. Nothing screams the British colonial past more than encouraging our children to set alight mannequins and the unfortunate hedgehog in support of our government in this day and age. This coupled with a firework display, sparklers and the gleefully disposition that government did not go up in flames makes the 5th of November a popular tradition celebrated throughout the U.K. by all generations.

As far assassination plots in British history go, the gun powder plot tops it all. If you want to kill a king, you might as well do it in style by blowing up the whole of parliament with all the kings men (but not the horses) in it. The plot has been the inspiration for a series of popular adaptations in the forms of comics, books and dystopian films exploring the what if and what a gun powder plot would do to today’s society. However this dystopian belief is widely skeptical amongst today’s community which is fairly hypocritical due to the manner of which we celebrate our 400 year old tradition.


Moving onto something lighter – literally – the wonders of Sparklers. Turning any grown adult back into a child, sparklers encapsulate a certain magic we’ve only seen on tv or read about in books. With the introduction of the Wizarding World, courtesy of the illustrious J.K. Rowling my childhood along with most others in my generation find magic truly magical.  Every year I remember waiting for the sparklers to be brought out, whispering “lumos” as it ignites and as it dies down swishing the sparkler round uttering “nox” walking around outside imagining the Hogwarts grounds around you in the dark.

With age comes education, yet I still refuse to believe that sparklers are a chemical creation explained by science, I merely acknowledge and appreciate it’s involvement. They have and always will be pure magic.


Onto fireworks. Who doesn’t like fireworks? (except of course the loud noises, the smoke pollution the impending doom of them not going off, or going off at you…) They temporarily paint the night sky with colour and wonder, making the darkest and coldest of nights that little bit better.

This year I didn’t go out to watch any firework displays, mainly as I was transfixed by sparklers and also watching the Ireland New Zealand rugby match. But there is always New Years!

Boring Responsible Warning: Just remember to stay safe round fireworks as they are fire and can be unpredictable! (Also be aware of your surroundings and be considerate of others)

As always, thanks for reading and have another fantastic day and night!

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