Monday, 5 November 2012

A Quest to Remember

Remember, remember, the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

On 5th November 1605, Guy Fawkes (a member of the Gunpowder Plot - an attempt to assassinate King James I of England and VI of Scotland by blowing up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England's Parliament) was arrested while guarding the explosives.  People lit bonfires around London to celebrate the fact the King had survived the attempt on his life, and this is a tradition that has carried on over the years.  We Brits call it Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night, and usually celebrate with fireworks.

In the run-up to Bonfire Night, children would make effigies of Guy Fawkes (or other political figures) and ask for 'A penny for the guy'.  The effigies would then get placed on the bonfire and burnt.  I'm not sure whether this tradition is carried out these days (it's probably viewed as begging) and I'm also not sure what was done with the money collected (I suspect children probably spent it on sweets!).

I went to a firework display on Friday evening (never mind that Bonfire Night isn't until tonight - if we can make a celebration last out over several nights, then we will!), and there were some gorgeous fireworks - I particularly liked the ones that formed a heart shape and the ones that twinkled like stars (all whilst my favourite song - 'Rule the World' by Take That - was blaring out from the loudspeakers nearby).

Are you going to a fireworks display tonight?  (Or have you already been to one?)  What are your favourite fireworks?