Monday, November 05, 2007

Remember, remember the 5th of November


"Remember, remember, the 5th of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
We see no reason why gunpowder treason.
Should ever be forgot."

That was a rhyme we sang as children on Guy Fawkes night. The British mark Guy Fawkes' Day or simply Bonfire Night) by building bonfires and letting off fireworks. Traditionally, children made effigies of Fawkes from old clothes stuffed with newspaper, and display their "Guy" in the streets, asking "Penny for the Guy?", and expecting to receive some money. Guys were then thrown on the bonfire at the height of the celebrations.

In 1605, a man named Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the British Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder. He, and his band of fellow conspirators, were caught after one of the group sent a letter to King James I of England warning him to stay away from Parliament. Guy Fawkes was imprisoned and eventually put to death for his trouble.

2 comments:

Jeni said...

I have no clue when or where I read or heard of Guy Fawkes Day but wherever or whenever it was, I never got an explanation of what it was all about. But, now I know! Keep educating us, Vic!

Leigh Russell said...

Oh I feel so clever now because I actually knew that - but then I am English! Guy Fawkes warned his cousin who was a member of parliament not to go in that day, and that was how the suspicion was raised, a search was conducted, and the bomb found in the cellar! By the way, thank you for asking, and my book will be available in Canada. More details nearer the time. Meanwhile, keep in touch, blogbuddy.