On November 5th, the UK celebrates Guy Fawkes Day, also known as ‘Bonfire Night’. This is a yearly event remembering the failed attempt to burn down the British House of Lords back in 1605. The attack was part of a bigger mission known as the ‘Gunpowder Plot’, which was eventually averted by Guy Fawkes’ arrest. The conspiracy was initiated as both a move against the then-current government, and to support Catholicism, accusing King James I of not granting Catholics sufficient religious tolerance.
Traditionally, local councils organise firework shows and parades to celebrate this night, although in some places it can be a little bit more extreme, involving the burning of effigies as an anti-Catholic protest.
Whilst studying in Scotland, this was my first proper British festivity and therefore I do hold it close to heart. I mean, who doesn’t appreciate a good old firework display where the whole town reunites and rejoices as one?
Fun fact n.1: Guy Fawkes’ face was afterwards adopted by the widely known hacktivist group Anonymous, as well as by anti-government groups worldwide, to promote their move without showing a face.
Fun fact n.1: this character also inspired the film V for Vendetta.
Enjoy the festivity!
Photo credit: http://www.britwordaday.com