Guy Fawkes, who is he? Why do we burn him on top of a bonfire every year? These questions enter my head every year, yet I blindly celebrate and enjoy the fireworks and bonfires, eating burgers and candy floss. But what are we really celebrating and who is Guy Fawkes?
Who is Guy Fawkes?
Guy Fawkes was a chief conspirator in planning the failed Gunpowder Plot in 1605. Fawkes was introduced to Robert Catesby who had planned to assassinate King James I and his government and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. The pair used an undercroft under the House of Lords where Fawkes was in charge of the gunpowder they stockpiled there. An anonymous letter was sent to authorities who searched Westminster Palace and found explosives Fawkes was guarding in the early hours of November 5th.
After interrogation and torture, Fawkes confessed and was soon to be hanged, but a few days before his execution, he fell off a scaffold and broke his neck – avoiding the agony of being hanged.
Why do we celebrate Bonfire Night?
Remember, remember the fifth of November
Bonfire Night marks the anniversary of the discovery of the plot to blow up the Houses on Parliament in London in 1605.
So when we light bonfires to remember this event, traditionally there is a dummy man (called Guy) on top of the bonfires.
What events can I attend?
There is lots to do in Birmingham for Bonfire night:
- Edgbaston Stadium is holding a fun fair on November 2nd
- The Crown in Stourbridge will be holding a firework night and live music concert on 3rd November
- Birmingham Botanical Gardens are hosting a firework display on November 5th
What else can I do?
These are just a few of the events happening over Birmingham in order to celebrate Bonfire Night. If you’re stuck on what to do to celebrate Guy Fawkes night at home, here are a few suggestions:
- Bake a Parkin cake (this is a traditional Bonfire Night treat)
- Make a small bonfire out of spare wood and newspaper and cook marshmallows
- Hold your own firework display at home – within the health and safety procedures.