On November the 5th, Guy Fawkes night (also known as “Bonfire Night“) is celebrated every year only in Britain. This day is in memory of a famous episode connected to the history of England.
THE HISTORICAL EPISODE:
On the 5th of November 1608, a man called Guy Fawkes, wanted to blow up the Houses of English Parliament. This for political reasons of course. He belonged to a party contesting king James I Stuart’s choices.
Luckily he didn’t succeed in his purpose: the soldiers discovered him and some of his mates with barrels containing explosive in the basement below the Parliament. The conspirators were immediately captured. Sentenced to death as a traitor, he was before that harshly tortured. Even his death was atrocious: he was hanged and afterwards dismembered. But he never revealed the names of those who had commissioned him the explosion.
THE CELEBRATION OF GUY FAWKES NIGHT AS IT IS NOWADAYS:
Since then, in memory of this event, every year, starting some days before November the 5th, British kids light fireworks, have bonfires and burn the effigy of Guy Fawkes. This one is a sort of puppet made with newspapers or old clothes.
Though it is not a “bank holiday” (that is a holiday during which you can stay home), it is very loved in England, especially in southern England, in the area around London. There, even some days before the holiday, you can see boys and girls taking their Guy Fawkes puppet around. Or they stop passers-by to ask them for money to buy fireworks. The usual phrase is always: “A penny for the Guy, please“.
It’s fireworks the real protagonist of this feast, and every year, on “Bonfire night”, it is possible to see them flying above the skies of England.