05 OCT 2014 - BY BEN TAUB
As the saying goes, 'remember, remember, the fifth of November'. However, take a trip to one of the following celebrations and you certainly won't be forgetting these amazing firework displays in a hurry.
Perhaps the most famous fireworks show in the world, the New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney attract a huge number of people from across the globe. As one of the first places on the planet to ring in the new year, it's a great place to be if you're a little impatient and want to get the celebrations started some 12 hours before they kick off in the UK.
The fireworks themselves are launched from the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is located close to a number of the city's other top landmarks, including the famous Sydney Opera House. Each year tends to be more spectacular than the last, with a huge budget set aside for the annual pyrotechnic extravaganza. What's more, because New Year's Eve falls in the middle of the Australian summer, you won't have to worry about getting cold (or worse, wet) while enjoying the show as the clock strikes midnight.
The Spanish city of Valencia plays host to a truly memorable festival each year in March, with Las Fallas being the greatest event on earth for lovers of fireworks. The tradition dates back to medieval times, when the wooden streetlamps that illuminated the city during the winter months would be burnt at the beginning of spring, and over the years it has developed into a pyrotechnic extravaganza.
Las Fallas officially begins on March 1st, and sees an earth-shattering firework display take place in the city centre at 2pm each day. Things really get going on the 15th of the month, though, as this is when the main parades and other activities start, culminating in what's known as La Crema on the 19th. This is the final act of the festival, and involves the burning of enormous effigies which the locals spend the entire year constructing.
Bastille Day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille, which took place on July 14th 1789 and is seen as the event which lit the blue touchpaper for the French Revolution. These days, it is commemorated with the largest annual military parade in Europe, which is held on the Champs Elysees.
Once evening falls, the sky above the French capital becomes ablaze with colourful fireworks, so if you fancy learning a little history while watching a spectacular show then Paris is the place to be in July.
Of course, we don't want to forget Bonfire Night itself, and the best way to mark the occasion is to travel to London, where Guy Fawkes attempted his infamous Gunpowder Plot back in 1605. While he may have failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament, he did succeed in sparking one of the most popular and enjoyable British traditions, and these days the capital hosts several breathtaking public firework displays each November.