Tag: Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night words

Bonfire Night: which word did you burn?

Which words do you really hate? It’s Bonfire Night in the United Kingdom on 5 November. This celebration’s origins may seem curious to the rest of the world – why do we celebrate the anniversary of an attempted regicide? – but it’s a good excuse for fireworks and bonfires. Traditionally an effigy of Guy Fawkes […]

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Preparing for Bonfire Night: which word would you burn?

This survey is now closed. Thank you for your contributions! What’s your least favourite word? As Bonfire Night (also known as Guy Fawkes Night) approaches, we’d like to know which word you’d turn into an effigy. Bonfire Night is celebrated on 5 November in the UK; bonfires and fireworks are lit in memory of the […]

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Particularly excellent fireworks

Particularly excellent fireworks

As anyone who has read on will know, Gandalf the Grey has bigger fish to fry (dragons to down, necromancers to neutralize, etc.), when he arrives at Bag End at the start of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, but in Hobbiton it is for his fireworks that the wizard is most fondly remembered. As […]

Interactive fireworks image: Oooh! Ahhhh!


The names of fireworks conjure up an image of great spectacle  –  you can imagine fizgigs, jumping jacks, and rockets filling the night sky and then disappearing almost as quickly as they arrived. Many of the names are familiar, but some may be less so. How about Bengal lights and maroons? Who is the Catherine […]

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Remember, remember… pyrotechnic displays that amaze (and terrify)

It’s a custom peculiar to Britain, but for school children (and some adults) all over the country, as November begins, the following words march round and round. Remember remember the fifth of November Gunpowder, treason and plot Confession time. I have an uneasy relationship with fireworks, something which became apparent in early childhood. As a […]

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