Bonfire is a serious business in Sussex, with annual events attracting thousands of revellers over a ten week period. The historical significance of the evening may have faded somewhat, but the autumn months see Sussex aglow with orange bonfires, burning effigies, fancy-dress parades and spectacular fireworks displays.
November 5th commemorates the day when Guy Fawkes and his fellow Catholic conspirators were foiled in their plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Today, the Sussex Bonfire Societies celebrate the occasion with style, staging huge gala events with fires, parades and festivals. The tradition has remained strong for over a century, becoming the highlight of the year for many towns and villages in the area.
Dubbed the 'Bonfire capital of the world' the Lewes festivities are second to none, forming the UK's largest and most famous Guy Fawkes celebrations. Seven societies put on separate parades and firework displays on November 5th each year (except when the 5th falls on a Sunday). This can mean 3,000 people taking part, while another 80,000 arrive as spectators crammed into the small market town.
During the parades, society members (the bonfire boys and girls) carry torches and bangers, as well as burning crosses, musical instruments and flaming letters. These groups, some dating back to the mid 19th century, bring an atmosphere of tradition and history to a fun and raucous evening.
- Uckfield - 03 September 2016
- Crowborough - 10 September 2016
- Mayfield - 17 September 2016
- Burgess Hill - 24 September 2016
- Eastbourne - 01 October 2016
- Robrtsbridge - 01 October 2016
- Hailsham - 15 October 2016
- Hastings - 15 October 2016
- Littlehampton- 29 October 2016
- Battle - 05 November 2016
- Lewes - 05 November 2016
- Lindfield - 05 November 2016
- Fontwell Park - 05 November 2016
- Hove - 05 November 2016
- Rye Fawkes - 12 November 2016
- Shoreham - 12 November 2016
The various bonfore societies arrange torchlit processions, a mammoth bonfire, and fireworks that often continue late into the night. Once celebrations are concluded, preparations for next year's events are usually well underway by the following month!
If you are planning to travel to an event please remember to check parking restrictions, train and bus timetables. It is advisable to travel by public transport where possible as often main roads are closed for several hours before and during bonfire events.