Remember…… when was it again?
Yesterday, I had occasion to check the date on my calendar so that I could fill it in on a form. First I checked what month it was……… November, then I checked the year….. 2009 (I thought so!) and finally the day….. it was the fifth.
Hmmmmm. That rings a bell. Have I forgotten somebody’s birthday? Oh no! It’s not my wedding anniversary is it?
Wasn’t there a gunpowder plot? Blow up the Houses of Parliament and all that? And all of a sudden I could remember. November 5th is Guy Fawkes Night. How come I haven’t heard anything about it? Why haven’t I been invited to a bonfire?
Answer: Because Australia doesn’t celebrate Bonfire Night.
Australia does have fireworks, it probably holds one of the biggest firework display in the world each year, over at Sydney, every New Year’s Eve. They’ve made it a bit of a thing, probably because Sydney is the first major city in the world to see in the New Year.
Brisbane also has a major firework display on New Year’s Eve and I saw my first one from the rooftop of a city building on the 31st of December 2007, just six weeks after moving to Australia.
It was just like home from home, it poured with rain and there were thick clouds making it almost impossible to see the fireworks. But like I said in an earlier post, we brought the rain with us when we first arrived in Australia.
But that night on the Brisbane roof reminded me very much of Lake Meadows in Billericay, that’s where I used to go on bonfire night when I lived back in England. You could almost guarantee rain there on November 5.
But of course I knew I wasn’t in Lake Meadows, it was far too hot on that Brisbane evening.
Brisbane also hosts another firework display each year called Riverfire which I went to both last year and this. You can read all about that in a previous post and if you haven’t yet seen it, you can watch a video of the F-111’s dump and burn.
But it hasn’t always been this way in Australia. Back in the olden days, well the 1970s, Australia did celebrate bonfire night. But towards the end of that decade the public sale of fireworks was banned throughout most of Australia to prevent misuse, personal injury and bushfires. Makes perfect sense.
My wife says she kind of misses the traditional Guy Fawkes Night celebration, me not so much. But I’ll tell you what neither of us has missed; that’s the sound of fireworks exploding into the air from, pretty much, the beginning of October right the way through to the very end of November.
Why teenagers find it so amusing to let these bangers off from around seven o’clock in the evening until past midnight in the UK, I will never know. Perhaps it is an inner need to be irritating. Maybe the teenagers here are exactly the same?
Except, of course, they can’t buy the bangers!
Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…