What’s on in Britain: November 2019
Stuck for ideas to keep the family entertained this month? Here are our top tips for things to see and do in the wintery month of November
Tar Barrels – 5 November
Flaming tar-soaked barrels have been carried through Ottery St Mary in Devon in the Tar Barrels procession since the 17th century. The event, on Guy Fawkes’ Night, marks the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, when Catholics tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
The Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations – 5 November
The Lewes Bonfire Night Celebrations is one of the biggest Guy Fawkes’ events in the country. Six Lewes bonfire societies hold their own firework displays, alongside more than 30 parades. In one, locals hold 17 burning crosses to remember the 17 Protestants burnt at the stake in the 1550s.
The Lord Mayor’s Show – 9 November
The Lord Mayor’s Show has its roots in the journey of the first Mayor of London in 1215 from the City district to Westminster, where he had to swear loyalty to the Crown. The original journey was by boat, now it’s by state coach. The mayor’s journey has long been popular, appearing in Shakespearean plays, Pepys’ diaries and the tale of Dick Whittington. The Great Twelve Livery Companies (the dozen highest ranked historic companies in the City of London) have floats in the procession.
The Hatherleigh Carnival in Devon – 9 November
The Hatherleigh Carnival in Devon has very different origins: it was first held in 1903 to raise money for residents’ hospital care before the days of the National Health Service. Expect floats, crepe paper tableaux and fancy dress.