Out & About || Hastings Bonfire Night


We celebrate Bonfire Night in Hastings a couple of weeks earlier than a lot of other places as it ties in with the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. I'm lucky to live in a place with such a rich history to celebrate and there are lots of fun events throughout the year. This year was really crowded and we spent most of the route trying to find somewhere to watch from, so I didn't get many photos of the procession itself.

The air is thick with smoke even before the procession reached us.

Our Bonfire night is made up of several bonfire societies who parade through the town. Everyone in the procession either carries a pitch torch, plays the drums, collects money for charity or drags a fire cauldron behind them. It's an assault on the ears and eyes but it's wonderful. Many people dance to the beat of the drums, and they're so loud you can feel the vibrations in your body. There's something base and primal about fire and drums and I think we react to it instinctively. The best drumming I heard all night was from Sambalanco, an Afro-Brazilian carnival band. They had a lot of people shaking their butts, me included!

Flares are so bright they sear your eyeballs!

There's a huge bonfire on the beach after the procession has walked the length of the seafront from the pier and through Old Town. The fire is lit by torches from the procession. They're thrown onto wooden pallets, which are stacked about 50 feet high on the beach. There are oodles of different bonfire societies from the different towns and villages of Sussex, and you can go to a bonfire procession every weekend from September through to the end of November as there's such a wealth of choice.

The bonfire is lit!

Fire is so mesmerising.

I liked the reflection.

You can see some more photos here on the Hastings Borough Bonfire Society page.

If you're reasonably near Hastings and can get here next year I'd heartily recommend it. There's a buzz about the whole town, everyone's happy and it's all free to attend. Fun for all the family!

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

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