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Time for Fiery Traditions!

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I am writing this from FSF and Tapestry HQ, which many of you know is based in Lewes. This quirky but usually peaceful town takes on a whole new vibe on Bonfire Night. Lewes is home to the largest Bonfire celebrations in the UK, with seven bonfire societies marching in various costumes through the town and spectacular firework displays taking place at different locations.image.png

The earliest recorded bonfire celebration in Lewes was in 1795. The event has not been without controversy, but this is a tradition that shapes the town. Generations of families have been members of the same bonfire society for many years. 

What has all this got to do with Early Years you may ask? Well, it always gets me thinking about the importance and value of local traditions and the ‘funds of knowledge’ that children bring with them when they arrive at a setting. In Lewes, some children take part in their first Bonfire Parade as babes in arms. It is part of their family’s story.

At our school-based Nursery, we would invite parents in, wearing their costumes of course! They would help the children to make ‘torches’ out of sticks they found in the garden, talking about being safe as they created. The children would make their own costumes out of sheets of fabric, card, whatever took their fancy in the dressing up box. Anything goes! And then the best bit – we would have our very own parade around the whole school, complete with drums to march to!

It was a chance for the youngest children to make the most noise! It was also a moment to recognise something important about the past and present of where they live, to connect with each other and to make links with other celebrations involving light and fireworks.

It was one of my favourite moments in the Nursery year – not because I love Bonfire Night, but because of those connections, children and adults learning together, parents and staff sharing stories and, of course, making LOTS of noise with our marching drums!

Whatever the local traditions are near you, I hope you also find the energy and connectedness that can happen when we all share in an event.

Wishing you a happy and safe Bonfire Night, wherever you are and whatever you do.

Edited by Jules

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