Year 1605. Thirteen young Catholic conspirators planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Among them- Guy Fawkes, one of Britain”s most famous traitors.
Their main purpose was to assassinate King James I during the opening ceremony of the Parliament, while everyone was inside, including innocent people who would be killed in the attack. To carry out their plot, they hid 36 barrels of gunpowder in the cellars of the Parliament, just underneath the House of Lords.
In the early hours of November 5, one of the conspirators, Guy Fawkes was caught by the king”s forces in the cellars of the Parliament, being tortured and executed. So the plot was discovered before being put into practice, the king was saved and all other conspirators were hanged. Ever since, year after year people celebrate on the 5th of November Fawkes” execution and their king being saved! The merry celebration is also called Bonfire Night, Cracker Night and sometimes Fireworks Night.
Throughout United Kingdon, celebrations take place in towns and villages, which:
– light huge bonfires,
– let off magnificent fireworks that fill the sky,
– burn a dummy of Guy Fawkes (a homemade model of a man, like a scarecrow) which is called a “Guy” and celebrate the fact the Parliament and James I were not blown sky high by Guy Fawkes.
There are a lot of fun activities and online resources to do related to the Guy Fawkes Night! You can play the Gunpowder Plot Game on the BBC Learning English blog and test your knowledge of the gunpowder plot, while trying to find the 36 barrels! And if you want to find out even more interesting facts about the Bonfire Night, you should definitely try out the Bonfire Night Quiz!
Or perhaps you”re more into cooking and you”d love to prepare something traditional in order to mark this celebration! Don”t worry, you can find a lot of Recipes for your night to go off with a bang!
Just for fun, here you are some Bonfire Rhymes which are part of the custom and accompany the displays of fireworks:
Remember, remember the fifth of November.
Gunpowder, treason, and plot.
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!