When you hear the pop and the whistle of sparklers on November evenings, you would be forgiven for not knowing what they are in celebration of. The month November is host to different celebrations that are commemorated or acknowledged through the use of fireworks.
The first is Bonfire Night on the 5th of November. Bonfire Night marks the anniversary of a failed attempt to blow up Parliament. Bonfire Night is also referred to as Guy Fawkes’ night as he was the conspirator tasked with guarding the gunpowder.
Diwali (also spelled and pronounced Divali) is the festival of light and is celebrated by Sikhs, Hindus, Jains and some Buddhists. Diwali dates are determined by the cycle of the moon and take place between October and November. Diwali is a 5 day celebration but the main celebration takes place on the 3rd night. This year Diwali falls on the 14th November.
Although there are differences in how and why Bonfire Night and Diwali are celebrated, social gathering and fireworks are typical in both celebrations. This year, however, celebrations will be different to do the pandemic and the announcement of the second national lockdown starting on the 5th of November.
National Team athlete Charlie Bowling lives on a farm and is accustomed to having bonfires for various events – including Bonfire Night.
‘Before the second lockdown was announced I was planning to have a bonfire. It would have been socially distanced and smaller than previous years but I was still looking forward to it. Now it looks like it will be just be me and my Dad celebrating’, said National Team Member Charlie Bowling.
Wolverhampton Wrestling Club head coach Ranjit Singh is also conscious of the impact lockdown will have on their annual celebrations. Guru Nanak Satsang Gurdwara is the base for different activities from prayers to wrestling.
‘We are accustomed to having a massive gathering and fireworks for Diwali and will find it difficult to adjust but we have to adhere to the rules’.
Although the circumstances this November are not ideal, we hope that members of the wrestling family who celebrate Bonfire Night, Diwali or both are still able to find ways to celebrate that adhere to the government guidelines.
Bonfire Night and Diwali are great opportunities to come together and given everything we have overcome this year, the timing of the news of the second lockdown may have been disheartening for many.