LONDON – Once again, as is the case every year, Bonfire Night revelers are being reminded to think about problems sky lanterns can cause before using them. Speaking to the Women’s Food and Farming Union on Nov. 1, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman explained how sky lanterns can seriously injure or even kill cattle because the animals sometimes eat the lanterns’ wireframes. Smoldering remnants of lanterns also fall into farmers’ fields and elsewhere.

“Sky lanterns can look beautiful on their way up but they can cause real damage to animals when they come down,” Spelman said. “I don’t want to stop anyone’s enjoyment on Bonfire Night, but I’d ask them to think about the harm sky lanterns can cause.”

In Great Britain, Bonfire Night is associated with the tradition of Guy Fawkes' Night. The modern event is held annually on or near Nov. 5, although its religious significance has generally been lost: it has simply become a night of revelry and fireworks.