Remember, Remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot should never be forgotten!
Every year on the 5th of November, the air above the United Kingdom is filled with pretty, bright lights and loud noises caused by firework explosions. It’s firework night!
In my town, in the north-west of England, Bonfire Night is a big event. My family and I put on our wellington boots, warm clothes and brightly coloured hats and we walk through the park, kicking all the leaves that have fallen off the trees. We walk up the hill to the top of the park, where we watch a firework display light up the night sky from the castle and then we walk down, through the town to the market stalls, where we eat a hog roast – a whole pig roasted on a spit over an open fire – and for pudding we eat bonfire toffee and toffee covered apples whilst drinking hot cups of tea or hot chocolate. The children can buy bright light-up flowers which spin around quickly and which they can hold in their hands, as well as flashing cat-ears, which they can wear, to help light up the night.
We also build big bonfires, made from paper, wood and often old furniture, which we light and which burn very bright and very hot! It is tradition to put a ‘guy’ on top of the bonfire. The ‘guy’ is a figure of a man, with a painted face, made of straw and dressed in old-fashioned clothes. This tradition comes from the 17th century and a man called Guido Fawkes, nicknamed ‘Guy’. Guy Fawkes was a Catholic and the King of England at the time, James I, was a Protestant. During the reign of King James I, Catholicism was banned on pain of death! Guido Fawkes and a few other friends decided to blow up the Houses of Parliament, committing an old-fashioned crime called ‘treason’, by attempting to murder the King, in a plan known as ‘The Gunpowder Plot’. He placed lots and lots of barrels of gunpowder in the dark, damp, cellar underneath the Houses of Parliament and was about to set the gunpowder alight when the guards came and caught them and arrested them, saving the lives of everyone in the government! There are rumours today that the gunpowder was wet and would not have worked anyway!
Unfortunately, Guy Fawkes met a horrible end and was brutally killed, as punishment for trying to kill the King! But we always enjoy celebrating and remembering that gunpowder, treason and plot will never be forgotten!