5th November: BONFIRE NIGHT

Bonfire Night 2015: Why do we celebrate with firework displays? Who was Guy Fawkes?

 

November 5th marks the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, when Catholic explosive expert Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and Britons everywhere set fire to things.

 What is Bonfire Night?

Today is the day we commemorate the failure of the November 1605 Gunpowder Plot by a gang of Roman Catholic activists led by Warwickshire-born Robert Catesby.

When Protestant King James I acceded to the throne, English Catholics had hoped that the persecution they had felt for over 45 years under Queen Elizabeth would finally end. When this didn't transpire, a group of conspirators resolved to assassinate the King and his ministers by blowing up the Palace of Westminster during the state opening of Parliament.

The conspirators were all either killed resisting capture or - like Fawkes - tried, convicted, and executed.

The traditional death for traitors in 17th-century England was to be hanged, drawn and quartered in public.

The traditional cake eaten on Bonfire Night is Parkin Cake, a sticky cake containing a mix of oatmeal, treacle, syrup and ginger. 

 

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