“Remember, Remember the 5th of November!”
“Remember, remember the Fifth of November.
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason Should ever be forgot.”
Perhaps you know this quote from the movie V for Vendetta, but what it is actually referring to is Bonfire Night a.k.a. (also known as) Guy Fawkes Night. This celebration originates from the discovery of a plot in 1605 to blow up the English parliament. Guy Fawkes was guarding explosives, which had been placed under the House of Lords, when he was arrested and to celebrate this failure, people lit bonfires all over London. Nowadays, people still light bonfires, but it is mainly the fireworks which cause wide-eyed wonder and loud cries of ‘aaaah!’ and ‘ooooo!’.
For me growing up, Bonfire Night was always a night to look forward to. I remember looking out the windows, watching the bursts of colour pepper the sky and marvelling at the dreamy spectacle of it all. However, while it is all very pretty, it is important to remember to keep domestic animals inside. I imagine it must be a nightmare for them to hear deafening explosions for hours on end. Fortunately, my dog wasn’t bothered, but I think he was an exception.
Many families used to buy their own fireworks to let off from their garden, but it’s much more common now to go to a public display organised by the town council. Besides saving money, watching a planned event also lowers the chance of fires (November is Spring in New Zealand) and the fire department is very happy about this!
I hope one day you get the opportunity to see a Guy Fawkes Night in the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand!