FIREWORKS FOR HOGMANAY 2018

Annually, the City of Edinburgh holds a huge firework display over the stunning setting of Edinburgh Castle which coincides with the one in London.

Around Scotland, there are several full-on firework displays taking place for Hogmanay – here are a few of them:

ABERFELDY

This is one of the street parties with live music, lots of food, a licensed bar, and a stunning firework display.  The event takes place in the centre of the Square in Aberfeldy in the stunning Perthshire Highlands from 8pm onwards.  There will be plenty to see and do so just go along and whilst the event is completely free, donations are gratefully accepted.

INVERNESS

Red Hot Highland fling – this event will take place in the Northern Meeting Park Arena in Inverness on New Year’s Eve from around 8pm and is free but donations are gratefully accepted.  Hosted by comedian Craig Hill, the event is listed as one of the top ten Hogmanay events in Scotland.  NO ALCOHOL PERMITTED unless bought on site.  This is a fantastic display which starts at 8pm and continues until the wee small hours.  The fireworks truly are a spectacle as they burst over Inverness Cathedral at midnight.

Entertainment is brought to you by local musicians The Elephant Sessions (traditional Scottish music), Scooty and the Skyhooks (soul music) and Skerryvore (a mix of folk, traditional Scottish, rock and Americana).

STIRLING HOGMANAY

This event caters to both families and adults alike.  There are two shows on New Years Eve – the first is for families and as such includes some quieter fireworks AT 9.15PM and then the big shebang is at midnight when the sky will be full of beautiful effects over the stunning Stirling Castle and the National Wallace Institute, which also celebrates is 150th anniversary in 2019 so this will be bigger and better than last year.

There is entertainment and competition from Capital FM, live music, food concessions and you can even bring along your own alcohol.  The only stipulation is that you cannot bring glass into the venue.

There will be an onsite DJ to get the crowd fired up ready for the fireworks – DJ Fat (his name is Albanian and means Luck!).  The cost is £10 each and a £1 booking fee.  According to everyone who attended last year, it is worth every penny.

STONEHAVEN FIREBALLS CEREMONY

This is Stonehaven’s unique way of welcoming in the New Year.  This event attracts visitors from across the country and beyond to witness first hand the swinging ‘Fireballs’. These are wire mesh cages which are packed with cloth, newspapers and coal briquettes and then the cage is secured with wire and then a handle is affixed to enable the ‘swingers’ to do their thing.  The parade starts at the stroke of Midnight on the town clock and usually includes around 40 men and women who swing their fireballs around their heads before making their way down to Stonehaven Harbour where they swing the balls into the harbour at around 12.25am when the fireworks are launched from the road above the Harbour, indicating the end of the festivities.  However, the people of Stonehaven are known to be a happy crowd and usually keep the party going till the wee small hours and beyond.

So, if you are looking to welcome in the New Year in traditional Scottish fashion, get up there and see the spectacle for yourself.

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SUSSEX BONFIRE SOCIETIES TAKE IT UP A NOTCH OR TWO

Every year, a tradition which goes back to the mid-sixteenth century continues to this day in and around the Sussex and Kent regions where processions of people take to the streets to celebrate Bonfire Night.

Six Bonfire Societies congregate in the small town of Lewes in defiance of the impact that political/royal factions had on the people back in the reign of Henry Tudor and his family.

Bonfire societies originally formed in protest of the torture and deaths of some of the local people who just wanted to follow their chosen religion in peace with one another and yet, Queen Mary 1st had other ideas.

Martin Luther was a Priest and German professor of Theology and he was intrinsic in the reformation. Despite being a priest, he completely refuted the churches right to offer indulgencies which were essentially get out of jail free offers for the Catholic’s in higher society who paid their way into heaven and out of trouble, particularly given that two of the recent popes had both had children out of wedlock (and given that they should be celibate, it’s not a good start!). Luther did not support this stance, being of the belief that the Pope was never given the right to offer pardons on this earth or in heaven/purgatory – that would remain gods holy ordinance.

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Despite all the religious ramifications, Henry stood his ground and made the decision to divorce Catherine of Aragon and go on to create the Church of England which in turn would have its own bible (which was written in English so that the common man could enjoy the writings as it was thought that the common folk could not read Latin) of course, this doctrine was brought into effect when there was no such thing as a printing press and every bible or document had to be handwritten.

It was strange to think that the general populace simply accepted what they were told about the writings in the bible and were unable to challenge it as Martin Luther pointed out that he had never seen a full copy of the bible for himself.

As someone who was brought up a devout Catholic, when her father decided to become the ruling religious power in the UK, following on from the teachings of Martin Luther (not the black activist from the US) things changed dramatically for Mary. Henry VIII daughter by his first wife Catherine of Aragon continued to follow her Catholicism and despite his several marriages he had two daughters; Mary and Elizabeth before Jane Seymour produced a boy; Edward VI. On Henry’s death, the succession automatically passed to Edward aged just  9 but he was a sickly child and never actually took over the reigns as he died aged just 15 but before his death, he tried to stop Mary returning to the throne as he believed that the country should remain Protestant – to this she was quoted as saying that she would rather lay her head on the block (for beheading purposes) than forsake her faith. He put his cousin, Lady Jane Grey to the throne but Mary managed to oust her in just 9 days and she followed this by riding into London on horseback alongside her sister and over 800 noblemen to take it back. Lady Jane and the first Duke of Northumberland, Lord Dudley were both taken to the tower before being beheaded – adding more to Mary’s list of victims.

Following her death in 1558, her half sister Elizabeth took the throne and reigned for the next 45 years in relative peace and without the need to change religion yet again.

Today, the people of Lewes use the opportunity to gather as a community in support of their own and remain part of something which has gone on for literally hundreds of years after the failure of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and the Marian Persecutions of the middle of the 1500’s. They do it with a certain amount of ‘tongue in cheek’ particularly when poking fun at the politics of the day. This year for example, crowds of tens of thousands were in attendance to see Boris Johnson holding an axe in his left hand and the head of Theresa May in the other. There was a cacophony of jeers amongst the gathered crowds calling for Boris to be thrown onto the pyre.

Lewes Bonfire Night 2018

The Sussex Bonfire Societies are not the only ones who were using good old Boris as the centre for fun as Edenbridge Bonfire Society burnt an effigy of him at their event on Saturday 3rd November. In this case it was a 36-foot tall effigy of Boris holding an EU cake with mis-matched socks, a cycle helmet and slippers with the caption ‘Having your cake and eating it’.

There was also a bit of a dig at the train timetable related issues which massively impacted on the area in the Summer as the Lewes Ghost Train highlighted their experiences with re-scheduling, missing stations off routes and last-minute cancellations of services.

The one thing which causes more ooohhs and aaahhhs than anything else are the flaming tar barrels which were said to have been used to fumigate homes and to indicate the arrival of the Spanish Armada.

The Lewes Bonfire event brings together the community in a fascinating way and also brings in 30,000 spectators to witness first-hand the amount of effort which goes into creating the parade, the effigies, costumes and of course the beautiful fireworks at the end of the procession.

The Lewes Bonfire is the biggest of them all and has always been held on the 5th. This year once again they were supported by other local societies including Waterloo. South Street, Southover, Commercial Square and Cliffe Bonfire Societies. The streets were packed with people holding flaming torches aloft dragging flaming tar barrels and each have their own bonfire set up at the end of their parade.

Unlike ANY other event in the UK it continues to show support for residents who have lost their lives from the martyrs of the 16th century to the men and women fighting to keep our shores safe at home so I think that political correctness has gone mad and this is one of the few ways left open to show your despair at the state of the country and the impact on local communities.

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Andy’s Epic Fireworks Bonfire Display Nov 2018

A lovely email and video footage from a loyal EPIC customer 🙂

Hey Paul,
Great to hear from you!
I have not been able to come up to collect my orders the past few years. I hope you, Jimmy and the rest of the team are doing well.
Can you believe that this was my 9th Year buying fireworks for the annual display that I do for some friends?!
Anyway, I am more than happy for you to use the video. Unfortunately, it was out of focus for a moment at the start, but it worked out in the end. It was the first time for my daughter to film it.
In case you are interested, the firing order was as follows:

Block Buster 37 Shot
Humming Hornets 28 Shot x 2
Mad Moth 25 Shot x 2
Heavy Duty 64 Shot
Moving Target 105 Shot
Screaming Spiders 100 Shot
Aerial Atom 37 Shot
Gold Willow 50 Shot
Toxicado 84 Shot
Constellation 200 Shot
Sky Thriller Rockets x 3

As always they were outstanding fireworks which went off without a hitch (except when I was distracted watching them and let more portfire burnout), and the variety and effects were excellent. I always spend a long time designing the display to have variety, and this year worked out brilliantly.
The people who pay for the fireworks were utterly delighted and will be raising the budget again next year 😉
All the best, and I hope to come and see you guys next year (or sooner!),
Best regards,
Andy

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