Bonfire Night, November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night . . .

Featured in the November 2009 handbook.

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All names for the same celebration; but how did it start? What are we celebrating and why?

Throughout the world, since ancient history, there have been fire celebrations in the Autumn. Britain has been no exception and pagan or Celtic festivities date back many centuries.

By the Middle Ages the bonfires had been supplemented with fireworks and had become associated with the accession of the monarch.

With the Gunpowder Plot a new theme became the norm. In fact, for nearly two centuries after the Plot it was compulsory by law to celebrate the deliverance of the monarch, and bonfires and fireworks became a tradition firmly identified with November 5th.

Guy Fawkes was just one of a group of plotters, but he had the misfortune to be caught in the act and is therefore the one most closely associated the Plot.

A group of a dozen or so used their religious allegiance as an excuse for extreme terrorist action. They attempted to blow up the government and the monarch in the Houses of Parliament but were foiled.


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