Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot…
Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes, Plot Night. Whatever you call it, us Brits love to celebrate the 5th of November with a big fire, lots of loud sparkly things, some pie and peas and toffee apples.
On the 5th of November, 1605 a man named Guy Fawkes and 12 other Catholic conspirators tried to blow up Parliament and kill the King. They failed.
The tradition of a bonfire actually began the same night of the foiled gunpowder plot.
When the people of London learnt that their King had had an attempt on his life and survived, they lit bonfires all across the city in celebration.
Guy Fawkes was arrested and tortured in order to get the names of his accomplices. Names which he only gave up once he knew they were dead. So, you know, credit where credit’s due…
Here are some fun facts you might not already know about Bonfire Night!
Penny for the guy became popular towards the end of the 18th Century when children would go begging with an effigy of Guy Fawkes, which they would later burn on the bonfire.
The first recorded fireworks in the UK were in 1486 at the wedding of King Henry VII.
Up until 1959 it was illegal to NOT celebrate Bonfire Night, in the UK.
Guy Fawkes attended St Peter’s School in York. They have always refused to celebrate Bonfire Night out of respect for their former pupil. (They were exempt from the aforementioned law).
Every year before the state opening of Parliament, the Yeoman of the Guard still check the cellars, just in case.