5    Nov 20120 comments

Guy Fawkes: Remembering what?

George Cruikshank's illustration of Guy Fawkes, published in William Harrison Ainsworth's 1840 novel (Credit: Wikipedia)

George Cruikshank's illustration of Guy Fawkes, published in William Harrison Ainsworth's 1840 novel (Credit: Wikipedia)

"Remember, remember, the fifth of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot."

This is a classic playground rhyme learned by every British school child. It marks an important event that took place 407 years ago today. But what's it all about?

Guy Fawkes Night (or Bonfire Night and Fireworks night) is celebrated in Great Britain on November 5. It commemorates the failed plot to assassinate King James I on November 5, 1605 at the official state opening of Parliament. The plan was to blow up the House of Lords, killing the King and all the dignitaries present.

Guy was arrested following a 'tip to the authorities while guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder that had been smuggled into the House of Lords. He, along with his fellow co-conspirators, was executed.

In the years following the foiled attempt, people lit bonfires and burned effigies of Guy Fawkes. To this day, people all over the UK commemorate with public or private firework parties and bonfires. Continue reading "Guy Fawkes: Remembering what?" »

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