On Sunday I had my first bonfire-night experience! Katie, Elspeth (the other interns) and I went to the Bonfire at Buckley. There were two big fires ignited and a fun fair with candy floss, fresh donuts, burgers and of course, this being England, plenty of tea on hand! There was a firework display that went on for about half an hour and was amazing!
You might ask yourself right now what Bonfire Night is or what the British people celebrate on Bonfire Night. That’s why I'm going to summarize it for you!
Remember, remember, the Fifth of November
Gunpowder treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot
Much of British history concerns the divide between the Christian beliefs of the Catholic and Protestant Churches. Whenever a new King (or Queen) came to the throne either the Catholics or the Protestants were going to be persecuted depending on the monarchs religious beliefs.
After the death of Queen Elizabeth I died the Catholics hoped to see the sunny side again but unfortunately the persecution and punishment for the practice of Catholic beliefs got more severe and death penalty was common.
Under the leadership of John Coates, a group formed that planned to blow up the parliament. In doing so, they would kill the King and the Members of Parliament who were making life difficult for the Catholics.
It became clear that innocent people would be hurt or killed in the attack, including some people who even fought for more rights for Catholics. When a member of the group wrote a letter to tell his friend to stay away from the parliament on the 5th of November, this letter reached the King and the King's forces made plans to stop the conspirators.
Guy Fakes was in the cellar of the parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities stormed it in the early hours of November 5th. He was caught, tortured and executed.
On the very night that the Gunpowder Plot was foiled, on November 5th, 1605, bonfires were set alight to celebrate the safety of the King. Since then, November 5th has become known as Bonfire Night. The event is commemorated every year with fireworks to represent the gunpowder which would have been used to blow in up parliament and the burning effigies of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire.
So basically they burn the guy that tried to blow up the parliament and was therefore executed every year. Seems kind of dark, so it suits the British people☺!