Guy Fawkes Night, which is also known as Bonfire Night and Fireworks Night, is celebrated on 5 November every year across the UK. Celebrations mainly take the form of fireworks displays and bonfires, although eating and drinking are becoming an increasingly important part of the event.

Bonfire Night is held to commemorate and celebrate the fact that King James I survived the foiled plot of Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators to blow up the House of Lords on 5 November 1605. Guy Fawkes was caught guarding the explosives that the gang were going to use. When news of the foiled plot reached Londoners, many lit bonfires to celebrate the king’s survival. Parliament later made 5 November an official public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.

Bonfire Night celebrations are now held in cities across the UK on 5 November or the following weekend. Some of the most spectacular firework displays take place in London, where Alexandra Palace, Battersea Park and Wimbledon Park will all host large-scale displays. Outside of London, everywhere from Edinburgh to Southampton will be hosting local displays, with music, food and drink all adding to the atmosphere.

The large bonfires lit as part of the celebrations usually have a ‘guy’ on top – a handmade scarecrow-style effigy of Guy Fawkes. Young children often make the guy in advance and tour their local area with him in a pushchair or trolley, asking for a ‘penny for the guy,’ which can then be spent on sweets or sparklers.

Seasonal, sweet treats are all part of the Bonfire Night celebrations and some of the tastiest are really simple to make. Use your fabulous Collegiate kitchen to whip up some toffee apples to share with fellow residents: all you need is apples, sugar, vinegar, butter and some extras of your choice for coating, plus lolly sticks to hold the delightfully sticky apples on.

For a warming Bonfire Night drink, nothing beats a homemade hot chocolate or a sloe gin fizz if you’re looking for an autumnal tipple.

Whichever university city you’re based in, there are certain to be fireworks there this 5 November. Keep an eye on your Collegiate student accommodation Facebook page for details of events going on in your local area.

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