Fireworks Night

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Autumn has arrived, the clocks have gone back, and the days are shortening. Although the colder weather and dark evenings can make a PhD feel less enjoyable than usual, autumn brings with it some of my favourite festivals of the year. The dark nights of October and November are a perfect backdrop for spooky Halloween celebrations, the lights of Diwali, and (my personal favourite) fireworks night.

Fireworks Night
As a chemistry PhD student, I love fireworks.
Fireworks are essentially a chemical reaction which causes an explosion in the air. Changing the chemicals gives different colours – for example, sodium gives a yellow colour, barium produces green, and copper is used in blue fireworks.

Whilst lights, fire, and fireworks are key to many festivals which are celebrated around the world, the fireworks celebrations on the 5th of November are a tradition which is celebrated predominantly in the UK. So for all of our international students, everyone who needs refreshing on 17th century British history, and those just wanting to know where the celebrations will be, here is my guide to the 5th of November.


A (very) Brief History

In 1605, a man named Guy Fawkes was caught beneath the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder. He was part of the ‘Gunpowder Plot’ – an attempt to kill the King (James I), who was visiting the House of Lords. The plan failed as an anonymous letter had tipped off the authorities to the assassination attempt.

The failure of the Gunpowder Plot resulted in an official day of thanksgiving on the 5th of November, which is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks.

Events in Bath

As the 5th is a Monday this year, most events will take place on Saturday 3rd November.

The biggest fireworks display in Bath will be the Bath Rotary Fireworks which take place from 7pm to 9pm on Saturday 3rd. The display will be visible across the city centre, but tickets are available to watch from the recreation ground or to join the University’s RAG society for an evening at Bath Rugby ground.

Question and Answer Drop In Session

Finally, it’s not fireworks related, but it is on the 5th of November!

From 12 – 2 pm, in 10 West 5.02, we will be hosting an informal drop-in session where Doctoral College Staff and the Welcome Team will be available to answer any questions you may have.

Whether you’re just settling in, confused about candidature or progress reports, heading towards confirmation, considering field work and data collection, going into your final year, or approaching submission, come along to find out more about the next stage of your Doctoral studies.

If you can’t make it, don’t worry! Contact us at if you have any questions.



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