Lewes Bonfire Celebrations

Every year on the 5th of November Lewes a small town in Sussex goes bonfire mad. Bonfire societies descend on Lewes from the surrounding areas and parade though the streets with fire torches, effigies and burning crosses. They do all this dressed in all manner of costumes 1st & 2nd World War solders, tudors, catholic clergy, American civil war solders and more. It’s a crazy mix. Burning crosses (seen in groups of 17) represent 17 Protestants burned at the stake in the town in 1500s by Catholics. As each bonfire procession goes past they discard their not so bright but still burning torches to the ground, and these sometimes pile up into little mini fires. At the back of the procession people (sometimes children) pick up all the burning debris and place it in barrels that are then dragged behind the procession. The fires in these barrels can get quite big. It all adds to the bonkers element of the whole event! This selection of images is from November 5th 2018 & 2019.

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