Budloe Night – Guernsey Bonfire Night
Guy Fawkes night in Guernsey, has a much deeper history and stretches back even further than the 17th Century attempt to blow up the English parliament in 1605. Today it’s also known locally as “Budloe Night” and harks back to the island’s Viking heritage.
“Budloe Night” was originally intended to celebrate the end of the year. It was a pagan festival where a Yule log would be burnt. Using fire was act of cleansing in preparation for the new year. The connection to the Vikings stems from the island’s association with Normandy, which was of course conquered and populated by the Norsemen, from which the term Norman was derived.
The original Budloe festivals would have taken place later on the year than Guy Fawkes night, around the Winter Solstice (December 21st or 22nd). With the advent of Guy Fawkes night, and given the similarities in how each festival is celebrated, the two became linked and celebrated together on November 5th.
Budloe night originally involved celebrations around a large fire fire, decorating the house, burning the Yule log along with copious amounts of eating and drinking. Budloe night was still celebrated in it’s own right in Guernsey right up until after the war when there were large cavalcades along with many people dressing up in fancy dress.
Since the war the large scale celebrations have declined and the focus has now become a more standardised bonfire and fireworks party