Saturday, November 5, 2016

My First Bonfire Night

Tonight was my first Bonfire Night.  It's also known as Guy Fawkes Night and it is celebrated every 5th of November.

Quick history lesson...Catholics were persecuted under Elizabeth I's rule for 45 years.  Many had hoped that when Protestant King James I ascended the British throne that they would be free to practice their religion.

When that didn't happen, in 1605, a group of Catholic conspirators planned to assassinate the King and blow up the house of Parliament.

The assassination attempt failed and Guy Fawkes, one of the conspirators of the Gun Powder Plot, was executed with his co-conspirators.  So every 5th of November, there's a celebration to commemorate the failed attempt.

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

Many communities across the United Kingdom have fireworks and a bonfire where an effigy of Guy Fawkes is burned.  In Northern Ireland, bonfires aren't held in Catholic neighbourhoods; just the Protestant ones.

The celebration was exported to many British colonies.  In New England, it pretty much ended with the American Revolution.  It is still celebrated in New Zealand, South Africa, and parts of Canada.

We decided to drive out in search of Auckland fireworks but didn't have a lot of success.  We ended up at the beach by Devenport and watched people light fireworks.  We loaded a German immigrant a lighter for his daughter's sparklers and she gave each of us a sparkler.  It was very sweet.

Here's a video I found on YouTube that talks about Guy Fawkes Night.


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