“Remember remember the fifth of November.”
Every year my friends have an extravagant Halloween party. For the last 2 years it has been in an old Victorian terrace house who lends itself well to dressing up for our fright night.
This year, Halloween fell on the Cup weekend in Australia. Lots of people like to take the Monday off and head away for a 4 day weekend to enjoy the beginning of Spring. With this in mind, the party was moved to the following weekend which happened to be Bonfire Night.
What is Bonfire Night? If you are British, you know what I’m talking about, if you are Australian, some of you would know, but if you are neither of those you probably have no idea.
It’s also known as Guy Fawkes’ Day. And if you know the story of Guy Fawkes’ demise, you will see how a combined Halloween/Bonfire Night celebration is a good match! It certainly has some religious overtones due to the Gunpowder Plot‘s goals and during the 1800’s the celebrations were a riot of violent class-based confrontations, but these days it is an enjoyable family event. More recently, V for Vendetta used the Guy Fawkes theme (a movie I love so much I almost named my daughter Evey after the main character).
As a child, we attended Bonfire Night. I remember fireworks, sausages and a scarecrow (Guy Fawkes) on top of an enormous bonfire. I didn’t really understand the context of the effigy at the time, but as I made a marzipan and chocolate bonfire with Guy Fawkes on top for the Halloween, I found myself struggling to explain the tradition to my son without sounding crazy!!
“Hey mum, we are gonna burn that Fawkes guy because he is a bad man”.
“Uhmmm….yes. No. Burning bad people is not a good thing to do. We are going to burn this one as a silly game because it’s not a real man.”
“Would you like to lick the beaters?”
So, back to the party. The dress-ups are usually very imaginative. If you come to the party together, your dress-ups need to be a set (imagine the challenge when you are a family of four attending this party!!). Hiring a costume is a no no. Dressing up as a generic vampire or witch is a no no. Telling other people what you are dressing up as before the party is a no no. I know I’m making this party sound like it’s full of Halloween snobbery, but really, it is the only time of year we dress up so we go all out!
Some people attending the party: Paulie Bleaker and Juno (funnily, within 5 minutes, 2 couples arrived in the EXACT SAME dress-ups), Ramona Flowers (our host), Monkey Magic gang (Tripitaka was kept traditional and played by a girl….a sweet little 17 month old), The Wizard of Oz companions (our family), Wolverine, Babydoll (from Sucker Punch) and Tetsuo (from Akira)
The next day I was already thinking about what next year’s costumes would be…..