EVENT Sparks in Parks
There are plenty of commercial firework displays happening this weekend, but we’re fans of the slightly more left-field celebrations. Lewes has, of course, the most dramatic and atmospheric scenes, with traditional costumes, drum bands and competing fires, but the huge display at North Tyneside’s Segedunum Roman Fort, built on Hadrian’s Wall is held in equally impressive surroundings. For a wilder experience, head to Skinningrove in Yorkshire, where locals burn a giant, hand-build effigy special to the town on the beach - this year the theme is pigeon fancying! Equally atmospheric and dramatic is the annual Tar Barrel carrying at Ottery St Mary in Devon, but for more child-friendly displays, head to Cambridge’s huge free display on Midsummer Common, or the lovely, low-on-scares free family display at Coram’s Fields in central London For ideas for ways to celebrate bonfire night in an ethical fashion, head to our feature on green bonfire celebrations.
RECIPE Veggie Bonfire Food
One of the best bits of holding your own bonfire party is cooking up batches of warming, cosy food. This year we’re going full–on veggie. Try this smoky chipotle vegan chilli, or this soothing jerusalem artichoke, celeriac and apple soup. These home-made veggie hot-dogs will warm up cold hands, and you can’t have a bonfire without toffee apples (they’re such fun to make, too!
MAKE Whizz Bang Crash
If you’re not keen on real bangs and wallops, why not stick to some gentler fireworks crafts. Damien Hirst-style spinning art is both a fun process and gives some beautiful results, while this bonfire collage cleverly combines natural materials with paper. Make rockets out of old toilet rolls, try out salt art, or make headbands perfect for wearing out to a display. If you’ve got older kids who like a more edgy (verging on the insane) project, there are instructions for making your own real-life fireworks here) Don’t say we didn’t warn you…
EVENT, LEARN, MAKE Dead Fun
Mexico celebrates its Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) festival today. This weekend, London’s Wahaca is putting on an underground festival for the event, complete with jungle, a re-creation of a Mexican cemetery, poetry, music and short films. Saturday is family day, with storytelling, a grand procession led by the Voodoo Love Orchestra, workshops and a disco courtesy of Big Fish Little Fish. If you can’t make the party, celebrate at home. There are some brilliant ideas for Dead-inspired crafts here (we love the sugar skulls, calaveras garlands and amazing milk bottle skull), or why not make your own altar and meditate on those you’ve lost and commune with distant ancestors?
EVENT World Vegan Month
It’s World Vegan Month! Not only is going vegan good for animals, and our bodies, it’s also going to play a vital role in saving our environment. There are some great ideas for ways to celebrate it here (we like the ideas of tasting sessions for non-vegan friends and vegan-themed movie nights). If you’ve not taken the plunge, why not sign up for the 30-day pledge, which offers support, daily encouraging emails, tips and resources.