Teachers' blog


【Bonfire night】

(Contributed by Gary)
“Remember, remember the Fifth of November!” These are words which many people in the U.K. and other parts of the world know well. Indeed, at this time of year many people in England will be celebrating Bonfire Night; also known as Guy Fawkes Night. Up and down the country, great big fires will be made and people will brave the bitter November night to view firework displays; some low key, some spectacular.
What is it about? Well, a long time ago on November 5th, 1605 there was a plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament (where the government works) using gunpowder. The idea was to not only kill the King, James the first, but also disrupt the government. This “Gunpowder Plot”, however, was foiled and the man whose job is was to light the gunpowder, Guy Fawkes, was arrested and executed.
To celebrate the King’s survival, an event named Bonfire night was established, where people gathered around large fires and gave thanks. For a long time this event was an obligation and people who did not observe it could be punished. A figure, usually stuffed with straw or paper, which represents Guy Fawkes is often put on top of the fire, even now, to be burned.
While this may seem, strange and a little macabre to the uninitiated, it must be said that these days Bonfire Night is a family affair. Most people go nowadays for a community gathering, often in schools or local parks. It is a chance to watch fireworks, eat baked potatoes and chestnuts and get together with friends. Even the character of Guy Fawkes is viewed with more sympathy and respect now as a man fighting for what he believed in, and his image was even used as the hero of 2006 futuristic Hollywood movie and has become a popular Halloween mask.

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