Friday, November 5, 2010

Guy Fawkes Night

 Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
    The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
    I know of no reason
    Why the Gunpowder Treason
    Should ever be forgot.
    Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
    To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
    Three-score barrels of powder below
    To prove old England's overthrow;
    By God's providence he was catch'd 

    With a dark lantern and burning match.
    Holla boys, Holla boys, let the bells ring.
    Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
    And what should we do with him? Burn him!

It's a long way from 'Little Boy Blue,' isn't it!

Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night, or Fireworks Night, it's the time when Britain remembers the 1605 attempt by a group of Catholic conspirators to blow up Parliament and King James I (who was also King James VI of Scotland, who had succeeded the throne of Elizabeth I two years earlier) on opening day of Parliament. Wanting to restore a Catholic monarch to the throne, they'd managed to smuggle gunpowder into the undercroft of the House of Lords, but someone leaked the story to NBC and  word got out and they were caught.

Bonfires were lit across the country to announce 'The King Yet Lives.' I'm not sure how anyone was to deduce that from a bonfire, unless they were sending smoke signals, but that's the tradition, as I understand it. Throughout Britain, there are fireworks displays, 'Guys' are burned, and people have parties. I hope J will correct me on this stuff if it's inaccurate!

From Wikipedia: 'In the weeks before bonfire night, children traditionally displayed the "guy" and requested a "penny for the guy" in order to raise funds with which to buy fireworks. However, this practice has diminished greatly, perhaps because it has been seen as begging, and also because children are not allowed to buy fireworks. In addition there are concerns that children might misuse the money.'   

Good grief! Being a kid just isn't what it used to be!

So, to all of you Brits (and Anglophiles) out there, Happy Guy Fawkes Night!  We have friends coming over to help us burn a huge bonfire tonight, unless the corn hasn't been picked. In that case, we don't dare light the bonfire, lest a stray spark ignite the cornfield! And if we do have the bonfire, we'll be standing pretty close to it, for it's supposed to be down to 25 degrees F. tonight. Brrrr.

Stay tuned... 

Have a great weekend!

*picture from the web

Don't forget to make Grandma's Bonfire Parkin for tonight!

This post is linked to Friendly Friday Follow
and Friendly Friday
and Home and Family Friday
and I'm Lovin' it Friday


Caution/Lisa said...

I absolutely love the name, Guy. Three sons and my husband refused to let me use that name. I suspect it has nothing to do with Guy Fawkes though.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Ha, my mom is visiting from London and after Halloween we were just talking about this. Happy Guy Fawkes!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

Show Me Mama said...

I am your new follower. You can follow me back at Make sure you leave a comment so I know you visited.

Have a great weekend

J_on_tour said...

It's nice to be reminded of this story as so many events in a year get watered down into a tradition that each family performs which evolves in a different way with the passage of time. Did I say that right ?.... I can't concentrate properly with the noise of fireworks outside !!
It's funny how some things don't change though and a lot more people are still not happy with what goes on in Parliament !!

Cranberry Morning said...

Especially during the previous occupancy of 10 Downing Street, I know there were at least a few who weren't sure whose side they'd be on if Guy Fawkes and his cronies were plotting today. :-)

Mama Hen said...

Happy Guy Fawkes! I hope you were able to have the bonfire. That is always so cozy and fun! Having the cornfield included would make the largest bonfire ever. Yikes! Careful with that, but have fun with your friends! :) Have a great weekend!

Mama Hen

Jennifer Farris said...

How interesting! I had never heard about that tradition. So terrorism was around even back then...crazies aren't a new thing. Are you from England?

Arlene said...

We always celebrate Nov. 5th. My hubby used to work at the London Embassy so we lived there for a time. We were just reciting the poem you quoted the other night. We loved celebrating with fireworks and such with our English friends. Happy belated Guy Fawkes to you!!!

Judy S. said...

Hope you had a fun celebration!

Unknown said...

It's getting chilly down here too. Thanks for the history lesson! LOVE it!

Mama Hen said...

Have a great week my friend! I was hoping you would have had the bonfire so we could see some great pictures! Hope all is well!

Mama Hen

Lorraine said...

oh Judy you are my son would say "you so GET it!!" - love reading your blogs and this did make me giggle - only us crazy Brits huh!! we had a great Guy Fawkes - lots of fireworks although the whole penny for the guy thing really isn't practised now....but I do love the whole tradition of it....


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