ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

November 5th, Bonfire Night!

Updated on January 24, 2015
brightforyou profile image

Retired counselor, 341 short stories published by FSU. I have 4 sons, love sharing photography, writing, love travel, sunshine, sea & Grace.

Being English, I really miss November 5th which in England is Guy Fawkes Night (known also as Bonfire Night) a favorite celebration for adults and children. All over the British Isles, you will see bonfires alight in neighborhoods; firework displays and ‘guys’ atop the bonfire pile. It celebrates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot on 5th November 1605 when a number of Roman Catholic conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London.

They got hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder and stored them in a cellar, just under the House of Lords. But as they worked on the plot, they realized that innocent people could be killed. One of them sent an anonymous letter warning his friend, Lord Monteagle, to stay away from Parliament on November 5th. The letter reached the King who stopped the plot. In the early hours of November 5th, Guy Fawkes was caught in the cellar under parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder. He was tortured and executed.

When I was young, we lived opposite a large, empty field which was great for a huge bonfire My brother and I would go out looking for old bits of wood, trees limbs, branches even chairs left for the rubbish, old boxes; anything that would burn. We would build up a huge pile ready for burning during the weeks leading up to November 5th. We were lucky because several families came to our bonfire so we always had a huge fire with lots of spare burning material. We sat around the outside of the fire on old park benches.

The moms would make toffee apples, hot dogs, burgers, soups and all kinds of hot beverages. In England, it is very cold in November and gets dark around 4.30pm. The bonfires create a lovely bright warm light and there are always children with ‘sparklers’ in their hands and bright luminous necklaces. About a week before the 5th, we would start to make the ‘guy’. The guy is supposed to represent Guy Fawkes.

We would use a pair of old trousers and stuffed them with straw or old newspapers. We then tied the bottom and top of the trousers with string. We did the same with an old sweater and tied the body to the legs and made arms and a round head, stuffed it and drew a face on it. The hair was made of straw. Sometimes we would add an old cap. Then, as is traditional in England, we would put our ‘guy’ into a wheelbarrow or old pram and go door to door showing the guy to the neighbors for the odd penny or two.

(This money was to help buy the fireworks). Some children would make fantastic guys and take their guy into town where they would get much more money for fireworks. Usually, the dads worked on the firework display.

Once the bonfire pile was high enough, the Guy is perched on top. Everyone sits around for the grand ceremony of lighting the fire. Within minutes the fire would be crackling and the flames leaping up around the guy. I loved the warmth, and the smell of musty firewood, the smoke mixed with the cold night air and the gunpowder smell of burned out fireworks.

As the fire began to die down, we'd have the firework display. We'd all gasp at the beautiful colors spraying the night sky with bright white, reds and blues, like a million tiny stars dropping to earth. The ‘bangers’ would make us all jump and the Catherine wheels would splutter color as they whizzed around.

Yep, I still miss Bonfire Night!


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Hi AliciaC, I miss Bonfire night too... I don't know if its just because we were young, but everything seemed so much more satisfying back then! Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      When I was growing up in Britain November the 5th was one of the highlights of our year. Here in Canada some people light fireworks at Halloween, but they are nothing like the firework displays I saw when I was a child. Thanks for the memories!

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Hi petermdhart, thank you for your comments. I'm glad my hub reminded you of childhood fun!

    • petermdhart profile image

      petermdhart 

      7 years ago from Cornwall, UK

      Ah, Bonfire night... brings back memories of innocence and fun. Your hub had me remembering all the sights and sounds of Bonfire night from my childhood, thank you!

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      7 years ago from Florida

      LOL, you too debbie, thanks!

    • debbiesdailyviews profile image

      debbiesdailyviews 

      7 years ago

      Thank you for your support. I too will look forward very much to reading your page.

      Enjoy your party night, It sounds great.

      You know what they say about, You can take the girl out of England...

      Have a great night.

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Hi debbiesdailyviews - Wish I was coming to your Bonfire night party - I'm having friends around here in Florida ~ I have a fire pit so will light that, and think of England - have a great party ~ I'm looking forward to reading your hubs.

    • debbiesdailyviews profile image

      debbiesdailyviews 

      7 years ago

      Another great Hub, as we speak, I am planning a bonfire night party.

    • brightforyou profile imageAUTHOR

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Hi again ehern33 - acutally I am living in Florida now also ~ and it is 'brass monkey's today ~ which is why I'm getting on with my hubbing. Thanks so much for your interest in my hubs I am so glad they bring you pleasure!

    • ehern33 profile image

      ehern33 

      8 years ago

      Wow, that sure sounds like fun, especially when young. The tradition is great and very ejoyable, the cold I can do without but lately cold has found its way into Florida as well.. LOL Glad you brought a little of your culture for us to read. Thanks.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com 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: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    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 googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    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)
    Marketing
    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.
    Statistics
    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)