In danger of becoming eclipsed by Halloween, Bonfire Night is a very English commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot.
Many people feel inclined to leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals, restricting themselves - and their kids - to the comparatively tame pleasures of sparklers.
But if you're going to eschew the laid-on entertainment of professional displays, and feel inclined to recapture those thrilling November evenings of childhood, follow a few simple rules.
Top Tips for Bonfire Night
- Remember that fireworks are noisy. Warn your neighbours - especially if they are pet-owners - and preferably invite them to firework parties.
- Don't position bonfires upwind of neighbours' houses and don't let any pyromaniacs loose on getting the fire started.
- Prepare your fireworks carefully (eg nail the Catherine wheels to a tree, position the rockets in flowerbeds etc.) well before the guests arrive.
- Ensure that there is a safe buffer zone between fireworks and guests, especially small children.
- Lay on plenty of sparklers; they'll keep kids busy during hiatuses in the display - but do keep an eye on the kids and ensure that spent sparklers are disposed of quickly and safely; glowing sticks can pose a safety threat.
- Keep the firework display contained to a certain timeframe (e.g. 7.30-8pm). Sporadic bursts punctuating the evening may irritate neighbours, disappoint guests and disrupt the flow of the evening.