As sun-seekers bid goodbye to summer, the approach of autumn means it's time to ditch the bikinis, barbecues and poolside cocktails in favour of chunky jumpers, long weekend walks and cosy nights in by the fire.
Besides golden leaves and early sunsets, this super season brings us some excellent holidays. While winter is dominated by festive Christmas spirit followed by the glitz of New Year, Halloween and Bonfire Night still ignite a spark of childlike excitement inside even the hardest of hearts. Both make the most of the darker evenings and chilly feel, but which festival is our favourite?
With celebrations open to the elements, Bonfire Night encourages us to take on the grizzly weather in true British fashion. Wrap up warm in thick socks, wellies and anything woolly, grab some deep fried food and take in a colourful firework display with the aid of a sparkler or two. A bonding experience for the whole community, there's nothing like a roaring bonfire to warm your hands and lift your spirits.
On the other gloved hand, we have the magical mayhem that ensues at Halloween. Children and parents can indulge in silly Halloween fancy dress costumes, party games and an endless supply of sweets, while everyone else gets to enjoy a different type of fun.
Whether you favour a night on the town or a lively house party, Halloween affords us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves, if only for a night. Mousy administrators become vampire queens, shop assistants turn into wicked witches, and accountants are transformed into wily werewolves. Weird and wonderful traditions, from apple bobbing to ghost stories and pumpkin carving, allow us to enjoy some wackiness that would be considered odd at any other time of year.
Spread only six days apart, Bonfire Night and Halloween are guaranteed to get your autumn off to a great start. While Bonfire Night is a fun way to beat the blues with a big community bash, Halloween allows us to totally let loose. Whether you're a fan of a big fire and hearty food, or love getting dressed up for a scary treat, there's something for everyone in these fantastic autumn festivals.