In Britain, November 5 is Guy Fawkes or Bonfire Night. There is a poem that goes along with this unusual and somewhat gruesome night we Brits celebrate…
Remember remember the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see know reason why gunpowder and treason
Should ever be forgot
Now for your history lesson. On November 5, 1605 a man named Guy Fawkes was caught trying to burn down the Houses of Parliament with gunpowder. He was put on trial as a traitor against the government and was executed in the most horrendous way – hung, drawn and quartered. I do believe that treason is still the only crime that warrants capital punishment in the UK.
The following year the King of England delivered his first speech about how this act should never be forgotten. They called it the “Gunpowder Plot Sermons” and the poem was delivered to the people.
Each year children of England make an effigy of Guy Fawkes and sit on the streets asking “penny for the guy” – although these days the kids tend to ask for more than a penny. Then on November 5, they burn the “guy” on top of a huge bonfire and celebrate the night with fireworks. When I think about it, this ritual is really quite awful, but nevertheless I did have a lot of fun on Bonfire night each year. I would go out with my friends, watch the amazing fireworks, eat toffee apples and watch the bonfire as the “guy” burns on top. Happy Days :).