The 5th of November a.k.a. Guy Fawkes Night

Oh, how? How, how, how could I forget this particular day? This particular event? “Remember, remember, the 5th of November, the gunpowder, treason, and plot.” I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.” Words so easily remembered, when thinking about the event of November 5th (otherwise known as Guy Fawkes Night).

Now I’m sure you may have heard this off of the 2006 film “V for Vendetta”, when Hugo Weaving’s character V takes Natalie Portman’s character to the top of a balcony to watch as he has London’s criminal court in the film known as the Old Bailey, blown up to the tune of the 1812 Overture.

So, what is Guy Fawkes Night, you might be curious to ask. Well, ladies and gentlemen, time for a wee bit of a history lesson. Guy Fawkes Night begins with the events of 5¬†November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London; and months later, the introduction of the Observance of the 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.

So that is how it came to be. But there is a bit more of a significance to the story than what actually that very night. Over the years, Guy Fawkes Night has come to be interpreted as an extremely Protestant commemoration and have a very detailed anti-Catholic sentiment. And a couple decades later, it came to be known as Gunpowder Treason Day (which makes me curious why that wasn’t in V for Vendetta, but who knows?)


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