Remember, remember the 5th of Novembergunpowder, treason and plot.I see no reason that gunpowder treasonshould ever be forgot.
Many of us remember this poem but why and how do we celebrate Bonfire Night on 5 November?
It is British tradition to light bonfires and set off fireworks every year on 5 November. This annual event is a way to remember the events of 5 November 1605 when a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill the King was foiled.
The Gunpowder Plot and Guy Fawkes
In 1605 Britain was a Protestant country. There had been decades of persecution of Catholics and tension and violence between Protestants and Catholics. When James I became king in 1603, Catholics had high hopes that things would change and some reforms were made. However, by 1605 King James, under pressure from advisors, increased penalties on those who still practised the Catholic religion.
A group of disaffected Catholics plotted to kill the King by blowing up the Houses of Parliament. They wanted to put James’ daughter Elizabeth on the throne and restore Britain to the Catholic faith.
It became known as the Gunpowder Plot and was led by Robert Catesby. Catebsy, along with Guy Fawkes and others, planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament on the 5 November 1605 – the day of the State Opening of Parliament. This would not only kill the King but also the most powerful men in the country.
They managed to source gunpowder and put 36 barrels of it into a cellar under the House of Lords. Guy Fawkes stayed with the gunpowder ready to light the fuse but the cellars were searched and he was caught and arrested. He was taken to the Tower of London, tortured and eventually gave the names of his fellow conspirators. Everyone involved in the plot was caught and eventually executed.
To this day we still remember the failed Plot and celebrate on 5 November every year by lighting bonfires and fireworks.
Did you know?
Bonfires – People up and down the country build bonfires to mark the occasion and to celebrate Bonfire Night. Whether it’s in your back garden or at a local fireworks event, it’s a tradition that that has been held for over 400 years.
Guys – In preparation for bonfire night many people get together to make a dummy of Guy Fawkes – which is referred to as ‘The Guy’. This is usually made from old clothes stuffed full with straw or newspaper with a face painted or a mask to resemble Guy himself.
It’s a great activity to get children involved with. In some places people still keep the tradition of walking ‘The Guy’ through the streets on the way to the bonfire – parading him before placing him at the top of the bonfire, ready to light.
The Guy is placed on the top of the bonfire which is then set alight during the evening. The night sky is filled with the burning embers of the fire and beauty of the fireworks display
Fireworks – Thousands of families across England flock to local fireworks displays. It’s a night of family fun and can be enjoyed by all, no matter how old you are.
If you visit a local fireworks event you can expect a great fireworks display which will fill the night sky with bursts of colour.
Bonfire baked potatoes – As well as burning effigies of Guy Fawkes, bonfires are often used to cook potatoes wrapped in foil, to feed the crowds of people who have come to watch the firework display.
If you are having a bonfire at home you can easily bake your own potatoes. All you need is a potato, tin foil and a long stick or something similar. Follow these simple steps:
The bottom of the bonfire is the hottest part so be careful and make sure this is only carried out by an adult
Firework Safety Tips
Fireworks night is great fun and is enjoyed by families all over the country – unfortunately it can be dangerous too. Here are some simple safety tips to ensure you and your family stay safe during fireworks night:
We hope you have an exciting but safe Bonfire Night and we’d love to hear how you celebrated Guy Fawkes and what traditions kept you busy. Post your pictures to us on Facebook or Twitter.
Have a lovely Bonfire Ni