Bonfire Night happens every year on the 5th of November to celebrate the failure of the gunpowder plot by Guy Fawkes in which a group of 13 Catholic extremists tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 when the Protestant King James I, his sons and most of the people were still inside.
Guy Fawkes had rolled 36 barrels of gun powder into the cellars and was waiting for the King when guards broke in and arrested him. They were tortured in the tower of London and killed.
Bonfire night celebrations in the UK involve the building and burning of bonfires, with “guys” to represent Guy Fawkes being burnt on top of the bonfires, Bonfire Night firework displays are held throughout the UK and many people let of fireworks in their back gardens with sparklers given to the children and bonfire night parties run throughout the night. In the days leading up to bonfire night children use the “guys” to ask people for money with the phrase“penny for a guy” and sing the rhyme “Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason, and plot, I see no reason why gunpowder treason will ever be forgot.”
The extent of the celebrations and the size of the bonfire varies from one community to the next. Lewes, in the South East of England, is famous for its Bonfire Night festivities and consistently attracts thousands of people each year to participate.
Bonfire Night is not only celebrated in Britain. It is also celebrated in other countries including former British colonies New Zealand and the island of Newfoundland in Canada. Bonfire Night was also popular in Australia until the late 80s.
Thomas FOK 5D (06)