Have a cracking Bonfire Night!

Have a cracking Bonfire Night!

The temperature is dropping as we step into November but fear not! It’s also a month of cosy festivities, from huddling around a roaring bonfire on the 5th of November, to looking forward to Christmas! Join us as we explore the intriguing history behind Bonfire Night, discover a must-try traditional Yorkshire recipe that has stood the test of time and find out about the fireworks displays taking place across Manchester over the weekend.


Why do we celebrate Bonfire Night?

We’ve all heard the saying ‘remember, remember the 5th of November’, but why do we remember it exactly? For over four centuries, Britain has celebrated Bonfire Night, commemorating the foiled plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament that took place in 1605. Guy Fawkes, a prominent member of the conspiracy, aimed to revert England to Catholicism by assassinating the Protestant monarch, King James I of England, Queen Elizabeth I’s cousin, and his government.

However, the conspiracy group’s plans were thwarted, and Fawkes was arrested in the early hours of the morning of November 5th, 1605, in a cellar under the House of Lords next to the 36 barrels of gunpower he planned to place in the cellars beneath the Palace of Westminster.

It’s believed that the plot was unravelled following a grave warning message that the Catholic Lord Monteagle received, telling him to stay away from Parliament as he would be in danger. This letter landed in the hands of Robert Cecil, James I’s Chief Minister, and Fawkes and his co-conspirators were caught in a web of high treason! Bonfire Night now acts as an anniversary for the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and effigies of Guy Fawkes are burnt on bonfires nationwide.


Parkin cake – a delicious treat with a rich history

Parkin, a scrumptious sticky ginger cake, is a traditional Bonfire Night treat that’s perfectly matched with a cuppa on the chilly night. Its origins are intertwined with pagan traditions of celebrating the first day of winter. The cake’s history is deeply rooted in the north of England, with ingredients like black treacle arriving from the West Indies in the 17th century. Early recipes excluded eggs, and oats, an affordable alternative to wheat, became a staple ingredient.

Interestingly, Parkin ages like fine wine! Stored in an airtight tin, the treacle seeps into the sponge, making it even more moist over time. In the past, people would wait for up to two weeks, allowing the cake to become stickier.

If you want to try making it yourself, we have a quick and easy to follow recipe that’ll go down a treat. Click here to see the full recipe.

And remember, remember, you can get all the baking staples you need like butter, sugar, flour and eggs alongside your fresh milk deliveries from Daily Essentials. Simply add them to your order and your milkman will deliver them to your doorstep on your regular delivery day.

Family friendly Bonfire Night events around Manchester

There’s plenty of family friendly Bonfire Night events going on across Manchester over the weekend. Visit Manchester has listed a host of events spanning Manchester, here are a few top picks we’ve pulled out:

Woodford Community Centre, Stockport

This Stockport-based Bonfire Night event has it all – a big fireworks show as well as a separate children’s firework display, hot food stalls, fun fairground rides and a big bonfire. Gates open at 6pm and the bonfire will be lit at 6.30pm. The children’s fireworks display begins at 7pm and the main display starts at 8pm. Click here for more info and tickets.

Buile Hill Park, Salford

At the other end of Manchester, this event is also perfect for families, with three fireworks displays. The Little Sparks and Firecracker shows cater for families with young children and those who don’t like louder bangs. There’s also the main display for an impressive fireworks show. You can also get some grub from food and drink vendors and enjoy the traditional funfair, including smaller rides for little ones. Not only that, but this year a series of glowing sculptures in the park light the way to their new stage area, so be sure to check those out! Click here for more info.  

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