Lewes Bonfire is an annual celebration that takes place in the town of Lewes, Sussex, UK. It's the United Kingdom's largest and most renown Bonfire festivities held on November 5th, dedicated to uncovering the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 otherwise known as Guy Fawkes Night. It also honours the memory of the 17 Protestant martyrs from the town burned during the Marian Persecutions. Lewes is home to 7 societies that organise six separate parades and firework displays. About 30 more societies from other Sussex towns come to Lewes to parade the streets. There are about 5,000 people participating in festive events and about 80,000 spectators from all over the world.
To mark the memory of 17 Lewes Martyrs, 17 burning crosses are carried through the Lewes, and a wreath is laid at the War Memorial in the centre of town. Another highlight of the festivities is when men and women are pulling flaming tar barrels in a "barrel run," occurring along Cliffe High Street at the start of the evening. Then tar barrels are thrown into the River Ouse, which symbolises the throwing of the magistrates into the river. The festivities rich their peak in five bonfire displays.
First-time visitors are recommended to stick to the lower end of Cliffe High Street to observe the Cliffe Bonfire Society and South Street Bonfire Society processions. If you stay up the Brewers Pub and beyond, you will have a chance to see all of the Lewes Bonfire Societies at different times without crowds. Southover High Street is a good place to see the Southover Bonfire Society processions. The Lewes Cliffe Bridge or the Lewes War Memorial, or Lewes Town Hall will let you look at all processions during the night.