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Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night - 5th November

November 05, 2016

The Gunpowder Plot of 1605

Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated in Britain annually on November 5th.

Guido Fawkes

The event is accompanied by firework displays, the lighting of bonfires and the ceremonial effigy-burning of one Guy Fawkes, the "Guy".

The origin of this celebration stems from events which took place in 1605 and was a conspiracy known as "The Gunpowder Plot", intended to take place on November 5th of that year (the day set for the opening of Parliament).

The object of The Gunpowder Plot was to blow up English Parliament along with the ruling monarch, King James I.

The Houses of Parliament in London on Bonfire Night

It was hoped that such a disaster would initiate a great uprising of English Catholics, who were distressed by the increased severity of penal laws against the practice of their religion.

Around the world, ‘Gunpowder Treason Day’ was historically exported by settlers to colonies, including members of the Commonwealth of Nations such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and various Caribbean nations.

The day is still marked in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and in Saint Kitts and Nevis, but a fireworks ban by Antigua and Barbuda during the 1990s reduced its popularity in that country.

In Australia, Sydney saw at least one instance of the parading and burning of a Guy Fawkes effigy in 1805, while in 1833, four years after its founding, Perth had Gunpowder Treason Day listed as a public holiday.

By the 1970s, Guy Fawkes Night had become less common in Australia. Some measure of celebration remains in New Zealand, Canada and South Africa.

Bonfire night and fireworks

Best wishes from The Solid Bar Company Team

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