Day 15 Of 30 Days Challenge for Autumn: Why do the British celebrate gunpowder plot/Guy Fawkes?

Annual commemoration is observed on the 5th November to which is primarily in Great Britain; which is commonly known under three different names such as Guy Fawkes Night, Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night. The history of this day begins with the events on 5th November 1605; when Guy Fawkes who was one of the members of the Gunpowder Plot, he was arrested while guarding explosives that the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords.

To which it now known that people started to celebrate King James 1st life as he survived the attempt of accusation at that time. Which lead people to light bonfires around London; within months later the government and the king introduced of the Observance of 5th November Act that enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plots failure.

Over a few decades Gunpowder Treason Day which it was known for became the predominant state commemoration; however as it still carried strong Protestant religious overtones it also became the focus for anti-Catholic sentiment, where Puritans delivered sermons regarding the perceived dangers of popery. During the increasingly raucous celebrations common folk burnt effigies of popular hate-figures such like the pope at that time.

As the 18th Century was during to a close reports had been appearing that children have been begging for money with a effigies of Guy Fawkes to which 5th November gradually became known as Guy Fawkes Day. In towns such like Lewes and Guildford in the 19th century scenes were increasingly violent class-based confrontations, fostering traditions to which those towns celebrate still. Within the 1850s changing the attitudes resulted into toning down of much of the day’s anti-Catholic rhetoric and the Observance Of 5th November Act was repealed in 1859. This meant the violence was dealt with and by the 20th century Guy Fawkes Day had become an enjoyable social commemoration to which although lacking much of its original focus. To which the present day Guy Fawkes Night is usually celebrated at a large organised events, centred on a bonfire and extravagant firework displays.

This is basically a summary of why we celebrate 5th November as it’s part of our English heritage/history. I just wanted to share with you why we celebrate certain things the way we do.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.