“Remember, remember, the fifth of November…” So goes the beginning of the famous poem dedicated to the celebration of Guy Fawkes Day. On November 5th, 1605, a group of conspirators, led by Guido “Guy” Fawkes, planned to assassinate King James I and blow up the parliament building. The plan was to restore the Catholic monarch by replacing the king with his nine-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth. The attempt failed when Fawkes was discovered guarding thirty-six barrels of gunpowder. Once the conspirators had been tried and sentenced to death, King James declared November 5th a day of celebration. He encouraged all to rejoice by burning fires and ringing church bells. The day is also known as Bonfire Night, and is commonly celebrated in Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and parts of Canada.
You don’t have to hail from England to celebrate this illustrious event. Guy Fawkes has become quite popular over the years, especially after the movie, V for Vendetta. Many have become familiar with the Guy Fawkes Mask, and it has become a symbol for many anti-government and anti-establishment groups around the world. If you and your friends are looking for a reason to celebrate this November 5th, what better reason than honoring the infamous hero. Put on your Guy Fawkes masks and gather around the bonfire. You all can join in on the time honored tradition of burning effigies, setting off fireworks, and reciting the poems and songs associated with the event. This is the perfect opportunity to play with fire, and not have to worry about getting in trouble!
If you want to make the day awesome, have your guests create their own effigy to burn in the fire. Paper mache villains, from movies, books, and television, make great victims for your fiery pulpit, and will have everyone excited to light up their creation. Supply your friends with an assortment of accessories for them to construct fun figures to burn. Build your bonfire, and have everyone dress up to celebrate the occasion, all wearing their masks of course! Provide food and drinks, as well as other goodies, and make the experience one that everyone can enjoy. You may even start a new tradition amongst your group of friends.
The Gunpowder Plot may have been a failed attempt to blow up the House of Lords, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with a fire of your own. Do something different this year, and honor one of the lesser known holidays in November. As the poem goes, “I know of no reason/Why the Gunpowder Treason/Should ever be forgot!”