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, as part of a bigger mission known as the ‘Gunpowder Plot’, which was prevented by Guy Fawkes’ arrest. The conspiracy was both agains the then-current government and pro-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? Also, a fun fact is that Guy Fawkes’ face was afterwards adopted by widely known hacktivist group Anonymous, as well as by anti-government groups worldwide. This character also inspired the film V for Vendetta.
Photo credit: http://www.britwordaday.com