The 5th of November is celebrated as Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes Night and Fireworks Night in the UK. You might not know a lot about this celebration and this day when you are new to the UK. It’s a day when you get a chance each year to visit one of the great parks in the UK and witness some wonderful firework displays and enjoy the warmth through the heat of the bonfire. Bonfire night has Its origin from the Gunpowder Plot that occurred in 1605 – it was failed attempt to assassinate King James by blowing up the building of Houses of Parliament and some of his parliamentarians during its state opening and replace him with a Catholic. Fawkes was caught by the guards and was sentenced to death. Since then, this day had been introduced as a public day of thanksgiving for the failure of that plot.
There’s a movie V for Vendetta that gives a lot of idea about the whole thing that had happened in this plot as the movie is based on the story of Guy Fawkes.
These traditions of having bonfires and fireworks were later added to celebrate the day. An image of Guy Fawkes is burned on each November 5th with the bonfire as people take part in this celebration of the failure of the Gunpowder plot. Over the period of time, people have started burning pictures of some unfamous politicians and celebrities as well.
Many popular poems are there about this day and most have them these lines
common – Remember, remember,
the fifth of November,
Gunpowder Treason and Plot….
Let us know some Facts about Guy Fawkes:
Guy Fawkes though known as the most famous of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators, he wasn’t the main although he wasn’t the main conspirator though he had an important role to play in the whole plot.
Guy Fawkes and his other accomplices were charged with High Treason that had a serious punishment in the UK in those times. The convicts were hung, drawn or quartered.
As we find it a common practice today for people to attend a bonfire at some event but during those times it wasn’t that common practice. People did not hold bonfires so easily in their homes. But then it became a ritual of holding a bonfire and making a guy that they would burn in the bonfire.
The term guy comes from Guy Fawkes. The original meaning it had was “a despicable person” however, over the years, it became a synonym for “man”. The children used to make guys and take the guy through the streets asking for a “penny for the guy” to make some extra money along the way.
Political protesters wear the masks of Guy Fawkes to protect their identity sometimes during the protests.
Before 1959 it was mandatory by application of a law to celebrate Bonfire Night. Only Guy Fawkes’ old school was exempted from this law as a respect for their old pupil.