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Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Remember, remember the 5th of November...

Stop Press: apparently the Brit Clubs in Cairo (Mohandseen and Heliopolis) are having Bonfire Night parties Thursday night.

Slightly off-topic for Egypt - but its my blog and I'll stray if I want to :D..

Tonight is the night when the annual British custom of honouring the attempt by the Roman Catholic Guy Fawkes and co-conspiritors to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 - it never being quite clear whether we are honouring in true Brit fashion the notable failures as heroes (eg Eddie the Eagle), or the capture and execution of Mr Fawkes - takes place.

Read more about The Gunpowder Plot here - nice site for kids.

This takes the form of a large bonfire, a stuffed mannekin to represent Guy (made of old clothes) and lots of fireworks. Plus the consumption of 'bonfire toffee', baked spuds in tinfoil etc. .

yummy bonfire night party recipes

Nowadays, it is more 'safety conscious' and most people go to the communally organized, risk-assessed, Health & Safety dominated, trained 'firework engineers' (ok I made that bit up [Wink] ) set ups for their displays.

Nonetheless, living here in Egypt, I do not miss for one second the marauding gangs of teenagers and youths who let off fireworks for weeks before and after this night.

As a teenager, when my dad taught at the local 'secondary modern' school, and I attended the local grammar school, late October and early November were a time of particular misery for me when any kid who had got a detention off my dad would lie in wait for me on my way home from school and stuff lit 'bangers' in my coat hood or throw them at me from across the street. I've always had an aversion to things that go bang (eg balloons - I hate them) since then.

In Walthamstow there were firework festivals all year round - Bonfire Night (plus the weekends either side if it fell midweek), Diwali, Eid, random football events. If you heard explosions outside or the rat-a-tat-tat of some of the fireworks, you were never sure if it was some kind of festival or gang warfare breaking out.

So, how many events here in Egypt are celebrated with fireworks? I've heard them once or twice coming from Dreamland but they don't seem connected with any special festival.

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