This October & November, the County once again goes into full swing with processions and bonfires in towns and villages throughout the Autumn. But just how did all this tradition begin?
It was long before Guy Fawkes!
And isn't just in Lewes either!
In Sussex the bonfire tradition isn't limited to the 5th November - it's become a whole season where the different local bonfire societies (of which there are around 40 that take part, including a few societies from neighbouring Kent & Surrey!) march at each other's events. It's become quite the spectacle, and the fun is about to start for this year!
The tradition of Sussex Bonfires pre-dates Guy Fawkes and was born out of a commemorative event marking the burning of 17 Protestant Martyrs in Lewes during the period 1555 – 1557.
What began reportedly as a bit of a pub crawl, with revellers dressing up to mask their identity so they could party without consequence, has become a major feature of life for many in Sussex, spearheaded by those 40 local bonfire societies across the county. That must be the largest number in the UK?!
Lewes boasts six bonfires during their event organised by the town's seven bonfire societies, which put on a remarkable spectacle each year on November 5th.
Here in Hastings, the bonfire celebrations are always a lively affair that mark the end of Hastings Week and the Battle of Hastings Day which falls on the 13th October this year.
The town enjoys one of the most beautiful bonfire processions and magnificent fireworks displays at this event, with visitors travelling far and wide to join in the fun. Whereas across much of the rest of England there has been a decline in the number of bonfire events taking place, it's thanks to the societies across the county that the tradition continues to thrive in our area.
It's an important event for charity too, with the bonfire societies raising money for local charities each year through donations received during and around the events. Money raised also goes toward hosting these free events, so their work is essential to the ongoing tradition of celebrating bonfire season throughout Sussex –and long may it continue to be so.
The event on the 13th October is free to attend but the organisers would be delighted if you would support their activities by buying a programme, badge, t-shirt or making a donation at our firesite or by using Paypal Donate button.
For full details about the event click here.
To find out more about Hastings Bonfire 2018, and the Hastings Borough Bonfire Society visit their website http://www.hbbs.info/
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