Remember remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder, treason should ever be forgot...
The one thing to remember if you're in Glasgow on 5th November every year is to get yourself along to a fireworks display, one of the best Glasgow events in the year, and if you can get there, to the magnificent Glasgow Green in particular. Why's that? What's different about this night from the glorious dazzle of the Hogmanay fireworks and other Glasgow events?
In the UK we celebrate this night unlike most other countries in the world. Bonfire Night (aka Guy Fawkes Night) is all about celebrating the foiling of the outstandinglyaudacious Gunpowder Plot of 5th November, 1605, when a tight gang of Catholic arsonists, including the infamous high heid yin Guy Fawkes, tried to blow London's Houses of Parliament into smitherines and kill King James I. We celebrate it by sending fireworks into the air, setting fire to Guys (ie. dummies of Guy Fawkes made usually from straw or wood), and generally have a very noisy time of it. I even witnessed once a half scale re-enactment of the Gunpowder Plot, which was actually a re-enactment of what would've happened if the Plot had worked. In other words, I saw the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben included, burst into flames and disintegrate in seconds. Fantastic.
So why do we celebrate an act of treason that happened hundreds of years ago? Apparently it all started on that night in 1605 when everyone lit fires and danced in the street to celebrate thanksgiving for 'the joyful day of deliverance' (ie. thanks for notblowing the King up). If you're from the UK you'll understand why it's still an annual tradition, and I suspect that most folks in the UK just assume that everywhere else celebrates it. But they don't. It's a night pretty unique to the UK, and Glasgow gets involved with gusto every year.
OK, so that means that around this time of year you'll struggle to get to sleep at night with all the fireworks going off in parks and back gardens all over the City, and you'll not pass a single group of kids on the street without them pointing at their hastily constructed Guy and proudly saying to you with their hand out Penny for the Guy? But even if you don't care why we do all this, if you want to know how much fun it is to set fire to things legally, you'll absolutely love this night in Glasgow. So pop along to a park like Glasgow Green next time, and enjoy a free night of colourful displays that'll warm you up before the Christmas rush.
Speaking of which, our absolute favourite time of the Glasgow events diary comes sharply into focus in November. On any given day in the coming weeks you'll find us grabbing up decoration after decoration to drape over the house - just picture the Griswalds in Christmas Vacation - and planning our own Glasgow events, parties, dinners and pretty much anything else involving the (these days much-derided) practice of over-eating until bursting point. If you're going to be here at Christmas this year and are looking for some really festive Glasgow events, you're in for a treat. First thing you should do is head to George Square and its glorious Winterfest.
No matter what age you are, if you like having fun at Christmas and want some Glasgow events and experiences to warm you up, you'll enjoy gawking at the massive array of festive lights which are turned on mid-November. I'm not a big fan of the actual turning on of the lights event (and they only release the free tickets online at short notice given how popular it is). To me, the fun is in heading to George Square when it's a little more quiet, all wrapped up warm with your friends & family, seeing all the lights flickering away in the dark, smelling the hot chocolate and roasting chestnuts, and joining in all the fun stuff dotted around the place. Far better than just seeing the lights go on and heading to the pub straight after!
You'll love the ever-burgeoning collection of stuff we'll have in the Square, from the ice-rink on which you'll likely see Santa skating from time to time (he's got to have some time off you know), to the hot food, drink and Christmas tat stalls, and of course the Nativity Scene tucked away usually in a distant corner for some reason - you'll likely also see a member of the police force walking about around the Nativity glasshouse though, given the fact that one year a cheeky so and so nicked the baby Jesus, much to the Council's embarassment!
Continuing on the festive theme of Glasgow events, Glasgow's Pantomime Season kicks off around the end of November. The time when Glaswegians from all across the city, and truck loads of wide-eyed, bemused visitors, descend on our theatres and halls, ice creams in hand (no matter the free-falling temperature outside), to watch the most bizarre, mixed-up show they're ever likely to see.
A show in which men dress as ladies, where the audience shouts like nutters to the actors on stage, where a little wee might even escape from the non-stop laughing throughout.
Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you the Panto Season. If you've never been to a pantomime, you've never lived. There now, I said it. I may be getting older every waking moment. I may be a Partner in a distinguished Law Firm, dressing in a suit most days. I may be old enough to drink myself into a stupor (and have been known to do so occasionally). I may even like the odd paid of socks for Christmas. But I tell you this - I'll never grow too old to go see a Panto. Just like li'l old Peter Pan himself, there's an excited child in every one of us, and what he really meant to say was, if you don't allow that inner child to fly once in a while, you'll wither away sadly watching everyone else have a good time.
So I guess what I'm saying is, if you're in Glasgow this Christmas and need some unique Glasgow events to put you in the spirit, book now before the Pantomimes are sold out. You'll never forget the experience. 'It's for the kids' - yeah whatever, they don't even get half the jokes!
Head to the Kings Theatre or the Glasgow Pavilion (the Pav), or even the ones lined up for the smaller venues. Either way you'll have a great time at these 100% unrivalled Glasgow events. Pantos make Christmas in Glasgow what it is, with the kind of Glasgow humour (patter) that draws visitors from around the globe, so round off your time here by letting your inner child fly as they never have before - then you can head to the pub and laugh as you watch them crash drunkenly into a deceptively tall building.
It's behind you......
Talking about alcohol, you'll also be interested to know that another one of the most treasured Glasgow events, Whisky Live is on during November. This is a fantastic addition to the calendar for experts & novices alike. You can get the opportunity to learn the whisky basics, and join in on the tastings, masterclasses, music events & even 'nose-off' competitions. Great way to kick off the festive season & warm you up.