Student blog: My First Hastings Bonfire Night

By Tenzin Paldon
October 2012

Last week I experienced something I’d never experienced before: bonfire night! I am so fond of the fireworks they show in movies but I had never seen such a breath-taking, beautiful night sky as I did at Hastings Bonfire. The sky was full of different colours that warmed my heart and made me cry with joy. It reminded me of how beautiful this world is. I had dinner on the seashore, enjoying the cold wind that took all my stress and tiredness away, leaving me fresh and light.

Hastings bonfire by Anshul AgrawalI took part in a bucket collection to raise funds for our Rotaract club to support students in Kenya. I went to take bucket from a small building near the beach. Everyone got huge red buckets, but I got a small one. I was little disheartened – I wanted a big one as we were competing to see who could collect the most (it was just a small competition amongst us to drive us along)! I was shocked to see some teenagers being rude and mocking people, but when I said that their donations will help students in Kenya, they donated happily.

I was awe-struck to see people in different costumes who had gathered together to celebrate this event. I saw different people from different age groups who were playing drums in a very powerful way. A huge man was leading the team. People who played the drum seemed as if they were letting go of all their negative emotions. The parade began with a huge statue, followed by different groups who were also collecting funds. I saw people dressed as king, queen and peasants who depicted the lifestyle in England. There was a huge crowd! While raising my bucket to the people who lined the streets, I saw lots of young kids enjoying themselves. Kids’ smiles are really innocent and so pure. Most of the donators were either old people or children.

After the long parade, I saw a huge dummy (or effigy) which was burned. It was to symbolise that people want peace, not war. I thoroughly enjoyed the night. Unlike other Fridays, watching movie in my room, I enjoyed seeing different things and experienced something that’ll stick with me forever: my first bonfire night!

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