The same day as our Aparima hike (Nov 5) also happened to be Guy Fawkes Day! Don't know what Guy Fawkes Day is? Neither did we... Apparently hundreds of years ago back in England a guy named Guy Fawkes planned to assassinate King James by collecting large amounts of gunpowder and blowing him up. He had all of the gunpowder in a large cart but was caught before he could carry out the act. Over time people started celebrating the thwarted plot by shooting off fireworks to represent the gunpowder I guess. It did not end well for Guy Fawkes; tortured and executed. But it still remains a festival for getting together and shooting off fireworks on a beautiful fall (or spring as the case may be) day.
It was a ways outside of town, they put up a tent in this field, and put out a bunch of hay bales to sit on. They were having "barbecue" so we thought it was going to be like American BBQ, but when they say barbecue they really mean "grilling." They had vension sandwiches and grilled sausages with onions. Not bad at all. Hit the spot on a chilly evening.
From our picnic table where we enjoyed our sausages, there was a small box on a rock across the creek labeled "explosives." Were all the fireworks in there? Maybe it was going to be a small show. But the fire department was setting off the fireworks so that was a good sign right?
Everyone was just hanging out enjoying the festivities. They had a little inflatable thing for the young kids. Someone pulled up with a colorful ice cream stand. There was even go carts for some of the older kids.
Sunset was nice that night, good colors on the Takis where we just came from our hike.
Bonfires are also a tradition on Guy Fawkes Day. Apparently they used to burn in effigy whoever the villian of the times was. No effigy burning today, just a nice hot fire on a cold night. The fire department started the bonfire too. Everything is so wet down here with the constant rain, there was very little chance of it spreading, even given the large size of the fire.
Once it was going, it was really hot. Cole wanted to dance around it naked, but there were small children, so we stopped him...
Ahhh those teenage years. Kids were lounging around the fire discussing all the "important big kid issues"... Summer nights...
Sparks flew as dusk was upon us, almost dark now...
The fireworks did not disappoint. The tiny "explosives" box turned out to be the little ground displays, not the big ones they shot into the air. They shot them up maybe 50 meters from where everyone stood, so we all had the best seats in the house. Boy were they LOUD! Always fun to try to snap a picture of fireworks, but they never do a good display justice.
The fireworks were no "New Years in Sydney" which I'm sure Cole will post about later, but for an Otautau special, they definitely did not let us down!