Also known as Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night And Firework Night, Guy Fawkes Day is a holiday that is observed in Great Britain every year on November 5th. Originally, it was a day used to celebrate the foiled assassination attempt on King James I, but later grew distinctive anti-catholic overtones. Today, it is primarily a day to drink mulled wine, burn effigies of politicians and Guy Fawkes and enjoy bonfire and firework celebrations.
This holiday can be traced back to the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605; a plot that was foiled on November 5th when Guy Fawkes was arrested guarding a cache of explosives. Immediately following the arrest of Guy Fawkes, the King’s council allowed supporters to burn bonfires in support of the king’s survival against the assassination plot. This was the first known Guy Fawkes Day celebration.
Customs, Traditions And Celebrations
Today, this holiday is celebrated with much enthusiasm. Bonfires are lit, fireworks are shot off, effigies of politicians are lit and songs are song. There is also usually a fair amount of alcohol consumed on this day as well.
Surprisingly, although Fawkes was once seen as a traitor, he is now seen as a sort of revolutionary hero by some people. This is partly due to the popularity of the graphic novel “V For Vendetta” during the 1980s, and the movie of the same name in 2005. Now, whenever there is a group fighting for their political or social rights, you can see people donning Guy Fawkes masks. From the U.K to the U.S.