Thursday, November 5, 2009

Guy Fawkes Night
























Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night is an annual celebration on the evening of the 5th of November. It marks the downfall of the Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605, in which a number of Catholic conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament, in London, United Kingdom.

It is primarily marked in the United Kingdom where it was compulsory, by fiat, until 1859, to celebrate the deliverance of the King of Great Britain; but, it is also celebrated in former British colonies including New Zealand, Newfoundland, and parts of the British Caribbean. Bonfire Night was celebrated in Australia until the mid- to late 1970s, when sale and public use of fireworks was made illegal and the celebration was effectively abolished. It is also celebrated in the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. Festivities are centred on the use of fireworks and the lighting of bonfires.



This day was celebrated in the Colonies and was called "Pope's Day". It was the high point of 'anti-popery' (in the term of the times) in New England. In the 1730s or earlier Boston's artisans commemorated the day with a parade and performances which mocked Catholicism and the Catholic Stuart pretender. It was also the day when the youth and the lower class ruled. They went door to door collecting money from the affluent to finance feasting and drinking. George Washington forbade the celebration of the day among his troops due to its anti-Catholic and pro-British purpose.