Thursday, November 5, 2009

Guy Fawkes Night

With the Dear Daughter's pending move to the UK to marry a guy named Guy, we are all about things English. Here, therefore is a post about a very English event.

A Poem to enlighten:

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of* no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd (or by God's mercy*)
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring. (Holla*)
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

It's Guy Fawkes Night, so go get V is for Vendetta and watch it or in the alternative, here's the link to the YouTube Guy Fawkes Night Speech from V is... by the character as portrayed by Hugo Wheeling as V. Guy Fawkes Speech

Here is some information on the origins of this day...

Here is an etching of the celebration in the year of our American Independence, 1776

Today, one of the ceremonies which accompanies the opening of a new session of Parliament is a traditional searching of the basement by the Yeoman of the Guard. It has been said that for superstitious reasons, no State Opening of Parliament has or ever will be held again on November 5th. This, however, is a fallacy since on at least one occasion (in 1957), Parliament did indeed open on November 5th. The actual cellar employed for the storage of the gunpowder in 1605 by the conspirators was damaged by fire in 1834 and totally destroyed during the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster in the Nineteenth Century.

Also known as "Firework Night" and "Bonfire Night," November 5th was designated by King James I (via an Act of Parliament) as a day of thanksgiving for "the joyful day of deliverance." This Act remained in force until 1859. On the very night of the thwarted Gunpowder Plot, it is said that the populace of London celebrated the defeat by lighting fires and engaging in street festivities. It would appear that similar celebrations took place on each anniversary and, over the years, became a tradition. In many areas, a holiday was observed, although it is not celebrated in Northern Ireland.

Guy Fawkes Night is not solely a British celebration. The tradition was also established in the British colonies by the early American settlers and actively pursued in the New England States under the name of "Pope Day" as late as the Eighteenth Century. Today, the celebration of Guy Fawkes and his failed plot remains a tradition in such places as Newfoundland (Canada) and some areas of New Zealand, in addition to the British Isles.

So have a cuppa and light a bonfire or failing that, have a cuppa and sit in front of your fire.

More information can be found at Wikipedia


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I'm all for celebrating anything at this point....even if I was born and raised Catholic!
Can we spike the Cuppa???? :)


Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

very cool post!

I knew about Guy Fawkes - but, LOL, not that much.

thanks so much for the heads up about the Enchantment exhibit! I think it sounds like a delightful holiday time day trip!

Leslie said...

@Anne I say go for it!
@Tristan I know, right? Hope you get to see the exhibition. Do let me know.

Jan said...

Always fun to learn something new. Thanks for enlightening us.

I Wonder Wye said...

EXcy loves 'V' for Vendetta. As for myself, not so much, but we spent our honeymoon and another vacation on Sloane Square in London and I absolutely loved it (the food, not so much). So congrats to your daughter for finding her 'Guy,' and congrats to you, too, for the fabulous vacations you'll be having in the coming years....

Feltmaker said...

My DH has taught Treacle to sing "Remember remember the fifth of November - Gunpowder treason and *snot* (rolls eyes and laughs)