A look at the origins and ways to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day.
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Every year we celebrate Guy Fawkes or Bonfire night, as it’s more commonly known, to acknowledge the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, the failed attempt the destruction of British parliament and assassination of King James I. The celebrations came about when parliament passed the Observance of 5th November Act 1605, during the first sitting of parliament since the incident. The act remained in place until 1859, but the tradition of marking the date with bonfires and fireworks has carried on, and still remains today. However, many people believe that the traditions started long before the Gunpowder Plot, and historians have suggested that the Protestant faith used Guy Fawkes Night to replace the ancient Celtic and Pagan festivals of Samhain.
When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely,
like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.
The word ‘bonfire’ comes from the old Celtic word ‘bone-fire’, relating to the tradition of burning the bones of animals on Samhain to scare away evil spirits. Britons also used to hold bonfires in graveyards for the same reason. Fire, one of the classical elements, plays an important role in many different cultures and religions, and is particularly important in Pagan traditions. Fire has a variety of uses in different ceremonies and rituals, and although bonfires are usually reserved for Midsummer Night or Summer Solstice rituals, you can take advantage of tonight’s many festivities by performing your own personal rituals.
How are you celebrating this evening? Let us know in the comments below!
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