If you live in the UK, the past few days for you may have been filled with shimmering sparklers, fabulous fireworks and blazing bonfires. However, for all of you living elsewhere and perhaps feeling alien to this tradition may be left wondering what is going on.
Bonfire Night or ‘Guy Fawkes’ Night is celebrated annually in the UK on the 5th of November. On this day, families and communities come together and light a bonfire, essentially a large pile of burning rubble, whilst watching amazing firework displays and clutching sparklers. This event has been commemorated since 1606 – one year after a significant event that left a huge imprint in history.
The truth is, the celebration actually has a pretty sinister origin. What wasn’t mentioned before was that often perched on top of the bonfire is an effigy of a man named Guy Fawkes. Fawkes, a Catholic, along with 12 others were involved in a gunpowder plot in which they planned to blow up London’s Houses of Parliament in the hope of murdering their current Protestant king, James I.
The 13 men secretly transported a staggering 36 barrels of gunpowder to the cellar below the parliament, and planned to alight it once King James I entered the building on the morning of 5th November 1605. This was however brought to a stop when Fawkes was caught red-handed by James I’s dedicated minister whilst guarding the gunpowder and was immediately arrested. The Parliament had been made aware of the plot due to a letter being sent by a member of Fawkes’ group to his friend who worked there, warning him to stay away on the 5th November.
Ever since, the story of Guy Fawkes and his failed attempt at blowing up the Houses of Parliament is recited and the occasion celebrated every year. There is even a poem sung on this day:
Remember, remember the Fifth of November
Gunpowder Treason and Plot.
I see no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
We Brits love any excuse to get together and throw a celebration, so today we still honour bonfire night with family, friends and a bright and colourful display. Our favourite things about bonfire night are:
Toffee Apples. A layer of toffee and colourful sprinkles AND one of your five a day at the same time? We happily oblige. This indulgent treat is also sometimes enjoyed at Halloween, making it is the perfect autumn guilty pleasure.
Image Source: Pinterest
Everyone’s failed photo attempts. At such a wonderfully photogenic event, it is no wonder everyone grabs their phones when they hear the first sizzle of a firework being lit. However, the reality is a black picture filled with grey smoke and blurry lines - not quite the image we have in our heads. Photographs taken by a phone just do not seem to do the event justice, and results in many comical failed outtakes.
We're sure that is exactly how they looked...
Image Source: Pinterest
Wrapping up warm. The biting cold may leave our breath puffing out in icy clouds, but from the depths of our cosy coats and knitwear, we’re untouchable.
Cashmere Gloves by William Lockie & Co.