Tag Archives: firework display



The City of Newcastle comes alive as the build-up to Christmas and the New Year and the associated festivities start to take place. The New Years Eve celebrations moved a couple of years ago to what was said to be a bigger site, but this did not suit the local people so it has been moved back to its regular location in the City Centre district around the Civic Centre.

The New Year’s Eve event is packed with things to do for all the family with street theatre, music, DJ’s, delicious street food, a Gin Palace (book me in there!) and the night will be capped off with stunning fireworks.

The outdoor entertainment and street theatre specialists Walk The Plank will once again be on hand to keep the spectators occupied with their incredible ability to tell stories through artistic impression and standing art installations. This year they have performed ‘Sacred Fires’ in celebration of Diwali in November and Manchester in June to celebrate the City’s global reputation as being at the forefront in manufacture and commerce and are at the very forefront of their area of expertise.

In the run-up to the New Years Eve fun, there will be lots of things to see and do around Newcastle including festive markets, street art and theatre, and a fantastic helter-skelter are just some of the activities on offer. Sadly, the annual Winter Parade will not be taking place due to financial restraints but you could visit ‘Stack Newcastle’ where shipping containers have been transformed into a village of street food vendors and Bars. They boast a HUGE variety of food outlets to suit all including Texas Smoker for that beautiful BBQ pulled pork and coleslaw or the Hungry Vegan for their spectacular creamy avocado pesto pasta or a vegan quesadilla as well as old favourites like sushi and fish and chips.



COST: £10.00

In 2014 a decision was taken to start charging for entry (thanks very much Boris!) to see the fireworks display and this stance remains unpopular with London tax payers. The main complaint to this day is that although the residents of the area fund the venture, they receive absolutely no concessions or preferential treatment when it to the allocation of tickets and moreover they still have to contend with the massive 100,000 attendees and the chaos a large number of revellers will undoubtedly cause, irrespective of the policing and stewarding of such an event.

Ticket prices are £10 per person with a strict limit of four per order; not good if there are five in your family who wish to attend (looks like granny is staying at home again!).

Although the organisers will allow small bags into the viewing area, they would prefer you not to take a bag at all where possible to alleviate some of the pressure on the security teams. Furthermore, all bags will be searched causing delays in entry to the enclosure and any item the security staff deem dangerous could result in your party been refused entry. The restrictions include any form of glass including flasks, sharp objects, back packs and suitcases will be excluded along with buggies – the organisers state on their website the event is not suitable for children; so you won’t need these anyway.

Alcohol will be on sale and you will be allowed to take your own but be careful, the stewards and security team will assess whether the amount you are carrying is deemed for personal use to prevent re-sale inside the barriers; again if you break the rules you will risk being refused entry. Anyone whom the officials feel has imbibed a little too enthusiastically, again these people will be excluded as will anyone using a drone.

Take photo ID along with you as security staff will check the name on the ticket matches the ID supplied, this is to prevent ticket touts selling tickets at overinflated prices as the council prefer to keep the monopoly on this one.

Be prepared to wait as the information for most areas advise spectators to arrive between 8 and 10:30pm although the information also goes on to say “Please allow plenty of time to get to your viewing area. Please aim to arrive before 9pm and bring only a small bag for essential items or preferably NO bag at all.”

As there are no options to leave and later return to the enclosure ensure you have everything you will require for the duration we would suggest among the obvious warm clothing, food and drink (in small quantities), spare batteries for camera etc, a ground sheet as there is no seating in any of the areas except the designated areas for less able spectators, also be aware there are no covered areas in case of rain and an umbrella which has a sharp end could be confiscated so poncho’s at the ready.

Toilets will be supplied but queues can be quite lengthy at times, so think about timing, you wouldn’t want to wait four hours then miss the main event standing in queue.

There are many viewing areas available and travel to these is best by tube as there will be vehicle movement restrictions with many road closures in place, as you can envisage getting 100,000 spectators to and from a specific area has its own potential problems so plan well ahead especially the journey home after the show.

The best stations to use are:

Blue 1 use Victoria Station

Blue 2 use Green Park Station

Pink 3 Holborn Station

Red 4 also Holborn Station

Red 5 Black Friars Station

Pink 6 Waterloo

Green 7 Southwark

White 8 Westminster

The accessible viewing area is also Waterloo.

Traditionally the countdown to the New Year is to the chimes of Big Ben. However, there is some speculation as the hands of the clock were removed in April as part of the ongoing repair and restoration of the clock and Elizabeth Tower and are not expected to be replaced until repairs conclude in 2021. So, who knows what will happen! We suspect a recording will be substituted to go along with possibly a digital projection.

Personally, I will be watching the repeat on the BBC a little later in the day as I, like many of our customers will be busy lighting my own offerings to welcome the New Year.

If you are having your own New Year celebrations, why not bring it in with a bang!  We have a huge range of single ignition barrages which start from the tiny ones at under a fiver to the huge multi shot compound cakes which are the size of a large suitcase at £249.96. Check em out.




The Indian Festival of Diwali (aka Deepavali/Lamp Festival or Festival of Light) is primarily a Hindu Festival which is also observed by Sikhs and Jains.  The festival marks the return of Lord Rama, who was the 7th re-incarnation of the God Vishnu, from a 14-year exile in the Hindu faith.

This event is celebrated by a staggering 800 million people worldwide and with India being one of the most populated countries on the planet, this comes as no surprise.

The Festival of Light is celebrated on the darkest night in the month of Kartik (which is the 7th month of the Bikram Sambat calendar) which runs from 18th October to 15th November.

Over in India, the homes, temples and streets are decorated with colourful lights called Diyas and garlands of marigolds.  Another part of the traditional celebrations includes fireworks or firecrackers; most of which are made in the town of Sivaski in Tamil Nadu.  Diwali runs for 5 days, but most of the celebrations outside India, take part on the 3rd day.  These usually include buying new clothes, giving sweet stuffs like Gulab Jamun (like a deep fried super sweet dumpling) Barfi (like a fudge with coconut, almond or pistachio flavourings) and Kulfi (Indian ice cream – extra sweet of course) and of course the warming glow of the little lamps or Diyas.

In Hindu, special blessings are offered to the goddess Lakshmi; goddess of wealth and prosperity and Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.  Lakshmi is said to visit all homes on Diwali, beginning with the cleanest first, spreading the wealth as she continues her journey.  Of course, this serves to get everyone scrubbing their homes before lighting the Diyas to welcome the goddess.

Whilst it was first and foremost a Hindu celebration, it is also widely celebrated by Sikhs who celebrate the release of their 6th guru Hargobind Singh, who was imprisoned by the Muslim leader Emperor Jahangir along with 52 princes (Rajas) who were political prisoners who were being held for a ransom of ‘millions of rupees’.  Emperor Jahangir agreed to let the guru go but Guru Hargobind would not accept his freedom if the rajas were unable to leave also.  Jahangir said that he could leave with as many prisoners who could ‘hold onto his cloak’.  He outsmarted Jahangir by adding 52 ‘tails’ to his gown, enabling them all to escape together.

Fireworks and firecrackers are widely used to frighten off any evil spirits.  The number of people using firecrackers has resulted in a blanket ban on their use in major cities like New Delhi.  But this decision was met with a great deal of backlash when Hindu’s saw it as an attack on their religion and freedom to celebrate their faiths special feast day as it has been for several hundred years.  However, with air pollution levels so high, it was a no-brainer to not have the usual smog following previous Diwali celebrations.

When the Passfire team from the USA visited India, they were fascinated that everywhere else in the world, salutes/maroons were being launched in mortar tubes but over in India, they are dropped into tube-shaped holes in the ground (they do say you work with what you have!).

If you are celebrating Diwali here in the UK, we have a brand new barrage called ‘Festival Of Light’ which would be a spectacular addition to your celebrations.