In England the 5th November has special importance. It marks the anniversary of the Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder plot, by which he planned to assassinate the king, King James I. James was a Protestant and Fawkes’ intention was to replace him with a Catholic, and so change the direction of the Church in England. Those involved with the Gunpowder plot had planted a store of gunpowder in the chambers beneath the House of Lords. Thankfully, it turns out, the police were tipped off and when they arrived they found Guy Fawkes guarding this gunpowder. On 5th November 1605, Guy Fawkes was arrested.
Guy Fawkes Day is also known as Bonfire Night and is traditionally celebrated by lighting huge bonfires and burning a ‘doll’, which represents Fawkes, as well as the setting off of fireworks. In the days leading up to Bonfire Night, it is not uncommon to see children with their doll made of straw or old pieces of newspaper, with a mask and a hat to represent the villainous Guy Fawkes, around the neighbourhood calling out ‘Penny for the Guy’ (the old way of financing some of the fireworks).
“Remember, remember! The fifth of November, The Gunpowder treason and plot”
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