ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night

Updated on September 29, 2010

Guy Fawkes Night, or Bonfire Night, is celebrated in Britain on the 5 November. Around this time, streets and playing fields echo to the explosions of fireworks. Many people go to firework displays. Everyone tries to get a good view of the fireworks and children wave sparklers, making dancing patterns of light in the smoky dusk.

Excitement grows as the fireworks begin. Huge rockets shoot into the sky, exploding with a blaze of coloured stars and ear-splitting noise. Catherine wheels spin madly in a circle of sparks while other fireworks shoot fountains of coloured flames many metres off the ground. After the fireworks, a huge bonfire is lit. A figure made from straw or paperstuffed into old clothes is put on the top of the fire and, when it begins to burn, the crowd cheers. This figure, or guy, represents Guy Fawkes, who was accused of trying to blow up the British Houses of Parliament in November 1605 and was later executed.

After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, her successor, James I, did not turn out to be more tolerant of their religion as the English Catholics had hoped. So 13 yong men ploted to blow up the Houses of Parliament under the leadership of Robert Catesby. A group with 13 members was unlucky! One of the members turned out to be a traitor who sent an anonymous letter warning his friend, Lord Monteagle, to stay away from the Parliament, and it was believed that the 36 barrels of gunpowder were useless, they would never explode. Actually, there was little chance to kill the King, because that time the reigning monarch only enters the Parliament once a year, on what is called "the State Opening of Parliament". (The Gunpowder Plot of 1605)

The reason why Bonfire Night was known as Guy Fawkes Night, because Guy Fawkes was charged with the dangerous task of acquiring 36 barrels of gunpowder and storing them in a rented space beneath the House of Lords. Guy Fawkes had spent time in the Netherlands and in Spain where he had fought as a mercenary. While in Spain he also earned the nickname Guido, and he even signed his name Guido Fawkes.

Autumn bonfire festivals were held long before Guy Fawkes. The ancient Celtic peoples of Britain celebrated their New Year with bonfires and feasts at the start of November. These traditions were continued in many parts of Britain long after the Christian Church became powerful. When people looked for a way to celebrate the failure of Guy Fawkes' plot, they used the customs of their traditional November bonfire festival. In this way, an ancient seasonal festival was given new life by historical events.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)