๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Bridgwater Carnival

Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival 2021 is one of the most unique carnival in Europe, here is why.

Information

Location Map

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    When is the carnival?

    bridgwater carnival

    Bridgwater Carnival 2021 has been canceled due to the Pandemic, we will wait for you in 2022.

    Where is the carnival?

    The carnival takes place in Bridgwater, which is located in the South West of England.

    Book your Hotel and Flight for the Bridgwater Carnival

    Booking.com

    History of the carnival

    bridgwater carnival

    The origins of the Bridgwater Carnival can be traced back to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 when Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators, failed in their attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London. That story is well known to everyone, but what is not so widely acknowledged is that it was King James 1st and his parliament who decreed that the events of 5 November should be commemorated annually with the lighting of bonfires, a tradition which is celebrated across the nation to this very day.

    Maybe it was because Bridgwater was staunchly protestant in those days that the townsfolk celebrated with greater vigour than anywhere else, creating a tradition of widespread merrymaking on the annual anniversary of the fifth . Or maybe it was just an excuse to enjoy an evening of fun around the bonfire before the long, cold nights of winter really set in.

    bridgwater carnival

    Whatever the reason, those celebrations have now grown into the magnificent spectacle which takes to the streets of Bridgwater each year in early November.

    From journalistic records the development of the carnival can be traced from 1847, making Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival the oldest event of its kind in the United Kingdom, and it seems it was the Victorians who were instrumental in establishing the format of the carnival for future generations to enjoy.

    Celebrations in those days concentrated around a huge bonfire which was built on the Cornhill, right in the centre of the town. From all corners of Bridgwater, townsfolk paraded to this bonfire, many disguising their identities in costumes and masks, a practice which enabled them to get up to all sorts of harmless mischief. Once assembled, effigies of Guy Fawkes, the Pope and others who had upset the local population, were added to the flames. From early evening, hundreds of home-made Bridgwater squibs (the unique fireworks which are still very much a part of the townโ€™s carnival tradition) were ignited in the town centre and a night of merrymaking ensued until the early hours.

    bridgwater carnival

    It was the celebrations of 1880 however which was to change the course of the carnival forever. The evening of the fifth that year began so well, but the usual good humour and excitement gave way to ill temper and acts of violence, leading ultimately to serious disorder and riot. By 1 o’clock in the morning the bonfire was still burning with plenty of fuel remaining to add to the embers. Most of the crowd had gone home but around 300 people were still celebrating around the fire.

    The local authority considered enough was enough and called in the newly formed fire brigade to douse the flames and put an end to the festivities. Not a wise move as this angered the revellers, so much so that they cut the fire hoses and those which remained intact were turned on the firemen themselves. Fireman James Ware refused to give up the possession of a standpipe however and he was set upon by the angry mob who chased him through the streets of the town. Although sustaining a few cuts and bruises he managed to escape to the shelter of his home where he remained under the protection of the local police.

    bridgwater carnival

    Next day, the riot was the talk of the town and various parties were blamed. It took a letter from Frank Squire, to the townโ€™s newspaper, to focus peoplesโ€™ attention on the real issues. He suggested that a controlling committee be formed and an annual procession organised so that citizens in other parts of the town could witness the magnificent costumes which were, by now, a major feature in the festivities.

    Frank’s suggestion received substantial support and the following year, 1881, the first carnival committee was formed and the first official Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival paraded through the streets of the town. From this inaugural event has grown the country’s longest running carnival, justifying the town’s title as the โ€˜Home of Carnivalโ€™ within the UK. Nowadays over 100,000 spectators from all over the world visit the town every year to watch this mesmerising carnival.

    How is it celebrated?

    bridgwater carnival

    Approximately 50 carnival carts, some as big as 100ft long, 16.5ft high and 11ft wide and lit by thousands of lights, wind their way through the centre of this historic town, creating an explosive atmosphere of light, sound and movement. Accompanying these carts are groups and individual masqueraders on foot, marching bands and majorettes, bringing their own carnival flavour to the festivities.

    The big parade starts at 6pm and takes over two hours to pass any one viewing point on the 2ยฝ mile route, and the carnival is brought to a dramatic finale with an amazing squibbing firework display in the middle of the town.

    bridgwater carnival

    During the carnival daytime and as the anticipation builds for the big procession, there is a whole host of top class entertainment in the town centre to enthrall those spectators who arrive early.

    How can I find more information?

    Visit the eventโ€™s official website โ€“ www.bridgwatercarnival.org.uk.

    Share:

    Share on whatsapp
    Share on facebook
    Share on pinterest
    Share on twitter

    Location Map

    Table of Contents
      Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
      Booking.com

      You might also like

      Carnaval de Calabar
      Carnivals

      ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Calabar Carnival

        Nigeria, Calabar
        1 Dec - 31 Dec 2020

      Calabar Carnival is known as the pride of Nigeria. For the entire month of December the city of Calabar puts on numerous carnival events.
      Mardi Gras de Nueva Orleans
      Carnivals

      ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ New Orleans Mardi Gras

        United States, New Orleans
        6 Jan - 1 Mar 2022

      New Orleans Mardi Gras is the biggest and best party in the United States. It is full of parades, parties and 600 years of carnival tradition that date back to Medieval Europe and followed France to her colonies in the USA. Here is everything you need to know about attending Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
      Carnaval de El Callao
      Carnivals

      ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ช El Callao Carnival

        Venezuela, El Callao
        11 Feb - 16 Feb 2021

      El Callao Carnival is the largest carnival in Venezuela. It has also been recognised by UNESCO for possessing intangible heritage.
      Carnaval de la Selva Negra
      Carnivals

      ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Black Forest Carnival

        Germany, Black Forest
        11 Feb - 16 Feb 2021

      The Black Forest Carnival or the Swabian-Alemannic Carnival celebrations in Germany are authentic ancient traditions full of wooden masks, witch parades and more.
      Carnaval de Guayana
      Carnivals

      ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡พ Guyana Carnival

        Guyana, Georgetown
        19 May - 27 May 2021

      Guyana Carnival is the an annual carnival in Georgetown Guyana! It is a wild, vibrant and colourful celebration that embraces local culture and heritage.
      Carnaval Tropical de Parรญs
      Carnivals

      ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท Paris Tropical Carnival

        France, Paris
        4 July 2021

      The Paris Tropical Carnival is the highlight of the Parisian Summer when Caribbean culture takes over the city of Paris.
      carnivaland

      Your Guide to Carnivals around the World

      Instagram #carnivaland

      0
        0
        Your Cart
        Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop