Otherwise known as ‘The Gunpowder Plot’
Here in the UK we happily celebrate ‘Guy Fawkes ’ (Bonfire/Fireworks Night) on the 5th November every year. We all wrap up warm and slip in to our wellies ready to trudge up to the local farmer’s field or village green where we eagerly await a massive bonfire to be lit. We then stand and watch as the poor ‘Guy’ (basically a Scarecrow) that has been placed at the top begins to burn. No matter how cold or wet we might be at this point due to the wonderful and ever changing English weather, we excitedly look up as the shriek, crackle and bang of beautiful fireworks lights up the sky.
But why do we feel so drawn to this activity every November? When basically we are standing in the damp cold night to remember a group of men in big hats and stockings causing trouble in the name of religion.
A quick re-cap for those who have forgotten or may not know the story of The Gunpowder Plot…
During November of the year 1605 a small faction of Catholic men that included John Grant and Guy Fawkes schemed against king James I. They believed that although James had appeared at first to be tolerant of their faith, this was not actually the case. To be rid of James meant that a new Catholic sovereign could be placed on the throne, and so a plot was formed in which barrels of gunpowder were to be hidden in the cellars of the parliament building and be ignited blowing up not only the king but also his government too. Sounds straight forward enough except that Guy Fawkes was caught by the guards in the cellar with the gunpowder.
As you can imagine things didn’t pan out well for Guy Fawkes and after being tortured he gave up the names of the other men and they were all sentenced to death.
So this means every year we like to watch the imitation of a man being put to death by Bonfire (even though Guy fawkes was actually hanged) then we “oooWWW and ahhhhhh” over fireworks that are meant to represent parliament blowing up along with all who were inside it (even though it didn’t) …
Humans are such morbid creatures.