Remember..remember..the fifth of November! Bonfire night is a British holiday dating all the way back to the year 1605 when Guy Fawkes plotted to blow up parliament. Fortunately, he was caught (and he suffered pretty gruesome punishments..yikes) and to this day, people all over England celebrate with fireworks, food and bonfires!
I was very excited to celebrate Bonfire night since it’s not commonly celebrated in the United States, so it would be unique to my study abroad experience! My friend and I ventured off to Blackheath where fireworks and a carnival would take place to celebrate Bonfire night. It took us a little while to get there and it was a lot colder out that we expected it to be, so we decided to pick up some hot chocolate while at the carnival. There were a bunch of food vendors that sold everything from thai cuisine to hamburgers. I decided to play it safe and grab a chicken burger and some french fries since I was pretty hungry. My friend and I also picked up some cider to celebrate, since the cider here is pretty darn tasty! We plopped down onto some grass in a big field to eat while we waited for the fireworks to start. It felt like it took forever for the fireworks to begin and we were both freezing since both of us had only worn light cardigans and scarves ( that was a big mistake!!). The fireworks didn’t last for too long, but it was a nice display and I’m glad that I got to experience Bonfire Night while being abroad! If you ever come to the United Kingdom during the fall season, I hope that you’ll be able to experience this very unique holiday!
The day after bonfire night, the Oxford Christmas lights were going to be turned on! All of my friends and I were so excited to experience the Christmas cheer here in England so we all decided to go to Oxford circus to see the christmas lights! When we finally arrived at oxford street, it was extremely crowded to the point where it was difficult to even move an inch. Apparently, there was a free concert going on in oxford circus to celebrate the Christmas season beginning (which my friends and I were unaware of)! We decided to grab a bite to eat in hopes the crowd would die down a little so we could walk around and enjoy the Christmas decor. We decided to go to a quaint little pho restaurant in Oxford circus as I had never had pho before! I opted for the chicken pho, and it was actually quite tasty! After our meal, we headed out only to get stuck in a huge crowd again! We saw a Starbucks nearby and just had to see if they had their christmas drinks out yet, which to our surprise, they did! I decided to get a toffee nut latte and some of my friends decided to try the eggnog latte and the gingerbread latte! We even picked up some seasonal desserts as well! Finally the crowd had died down so we walked around oxford street and admired the beautiful christmas lights. After admiring all the holiday decorations, we headed back to our university since we all had class the next morning! I really did enjoy going to see the christmas lights but I wish that I had gone later in the week so I could have avoided the crowds!