The 5th of November, or Bonfire Night / Guy Fawkes.
The tradition of having fireworks on November 5th dates back to the foiled plot to assassinate King James 1 in 1603. After the death of Queen Elizabeth, who was protestant (following the reformation and Henry VIII creation of the Church of England), many Catholics hoped that her successor King James VI (King James I of England as he became) would be more sympathetic to their cause and allow them to practice their religion. This, however was not the case. It therefore came to pass the Robert Catesby plotted (in my hometown none-the-less) to assassinate the King and many of his protestant followers at the opening of Parliament, in the hope that they could then manipulate the next choice for monarch. The plot was foiled. Guy Fawkes, who was employed due to his expert knowledge in gunpowder, was caught red handed. He was tortured for many days and this led to the capture of the conspirators. Those who survived capture were condemned to the type of death reserved for those who commit high treason; to be drawn (as they weren’t fit to walk the earth), hung (as they weren’t fit to draw breath), and to be beheaded (to move the head that imagined such mischief) before finally being cut into quarters and scattered through the land so as to ensure a hellish afterlife.
As a child, we would attend the local fireworks held at the sports pitches where my dad used to play hockey of a weekend. Mum used to prepare a lovely bonfire meal and we’d have a lovely time. Now, as an adult, we try to do the same for our children – build memories. The girls do not like the noise associated with a large performance and so we have fireworks at the mother in laws house. The children have hot dogs and crisps and we generally have a great time.
As Neil is working tonight, we have had to postpone the events until Monday, but it is something we are very much looking forward to.