Sunday, November 02, 2008

My Town Monday - Guy Fawkes Night



In England we 'celebrate' Guy Fawkes night every November 5th. I really think that the true origins of this celebration has been lost, Beth doesn't really have much of an idea what its all about, although she does know its something to do with trying to kill the royal family a long time ago.
The real story goes something like this......
Guido Fawkes, known as Guy, was born on 13 April 1570 at High Petergate in York, Yorkshire.
He was born in to a notable family that had connections with the Church of England, his father was either a notary or proctor of the ecclesiastical courts. Fawkes father died in 1579 and his mother remarried in 1582, this time to a Catholic Denis Bainbridge of Scotton. The family were known to be recusants, resisters of the authority of the Church of England, and it is probable that his stepfather's influence contributed to Guy's affiliation to Catholicism; Fawkes finally converted to Catholicism around the age of 16. In the same year that Fawkes converted to Catholicism (1586), he would be made brutally aware of the repression the English Parliament enacted on local Catholics.
In 1605 Fawkes and his co conspirators planned to blow up the protestant King, James the First, at the houses of Parliament, They hid barrels of gunpowder beneath the houses of Parliament and planned to detonate them. Unfortunately for them they were discovered and on the instructions of the King they were tortured until they admitted their plans. They were eventually tried for treason, found guilty and hung drawn and quartered.
The planned day of the plot was 5th of November 1605 and the plot has been celebrated since then.
Part of the celebration involves Children making a 'guy' usually clothes stuffed with newspapers and sporting a mask. When I was young we we often see kids asking for 'penny for the Guy' They would then go and spent any money they made on fireworks. Now a days people under 18 can't buy fireworks and the PC brigade have said that penny for the Guy is begging, so it has dropped off.
We still celebrate with Fireworks and you can't beat the smell of a damp night, burning wood and the fireworks, Pure start of Winter time!!!

So on the 5th all the towns surrounding ours will be having their celebrations, WGC will be refraining, some years ago the council cancelled the event citing Health and Safety concerns. We all know that they cancelled it because they are saving money. Miserable wotsits!!

13 comments:

debra said...

I would imaging that celebrations continue with or without governmental approval. Interesting post, Lyzzydee.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Interesting to see what other people celebrate around the world.

Hey, I read in your profile that you're interested in altered arts. Is that anything like Treated Text? I heart that stuff!

Phats said...

This is a pretty cool story, learn something new everyday!

Thanks for popping by my blog :)

Barrie said...

Interesting history. Thanks!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I was in England for Guy Fawkes night in 1994 and knew nothing about it until then. We watched it take place in York at the bottom of a huge hill which seemed very appropriate.

Mary said...

Thanks for sharing that. I seem to recall learning about Guy at one time, but had forgotten.

Since most my relatives hail from your great country, I always enjoy learning or relearning a little more about it.

lyzzydee said...

Debra, We do continue to celebrate in fact its a huge celebration, its just that it some how seems safer when the fireworks are being 'let off' by someone else who is a little way away from where you are!!
Angie, Altered art is turning something into something else, I have been altering since I was a little girl, you know keeping chocolate boxes and decorating them and making them into jewelery boxes only now, you buy something to alter, that defeats the object in my opinion!! Whats treated text??

Travis Erwin said...

This is all new to me. Interesting.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Interesting post about a holiday we don't celebrate here, though I heard some talk about it on the radio last week. I'm always in favor or any excuse for fireworks. I wonder if this is where the term "guy" for man came from.

Linda

Jenny Jill said...

We have major concerns in Canada about the noise and pollution of fireworks. I agree that someone ought to be in charge, in a central area, with firefighers ready!

Thanks for explaining the story!
Thanks for visiting my blog, too!

Reb said...

I am sure I was taught about Guy Fawkes in school, but had forgotten. Thanks for the reminder and enjoy your celebrations.

Maureen said...

thanks for that post! it is a cool story...
((()))reen

Katie said...

Great post Lyzzy!

Katie
x