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Remember, remember the fifth of November; gunpowder, treason and plot. It’s almost Bonfire Night and we see no reason to forget this evening of explosive drama!
That’s right, bonfire night is soon approaching and that means fireworks, sparklers and tasty treats. But do we know exactly why we celebrate bonfire night? Bonfire night, or the 5th of November, marks the evening when Guy Fawkes and 12 other men planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
For over 400 years, we as a nation have burned bonfires and fireworks have been lit to celebrate the failed Gunpowder Plot. But what else do you know about the history of Bonfire Night?
Read on to discover 10 facts about Bonfire Night that you may not know…
Until not so long ago, 1959, it was illegal to not celebrate Bonfire Night in Britain. During this time there was only one place in the UK that refused to celebrate the failed attempt. In respect to their alumni, St Peter’s School in York where Guy Fawkes attended were excused from burning a photo of their former pupil.
However, in 1914 during World War I, and later in World War II, no one was allowed to set off fireworks or light bonfires. So during this time, people celebrated the occasion indoors to protect the people by not showing the enemy where they were.
During the wedding of the English King in 1486 was the first ever recorded display of fireworks in Britain. This famous wedding, with its fabulous fireworks show finally united the two warring families of houses of York and Lancaster.
Housed today in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is said to be the lantern that Guy Fawkes himself was carrying when he was arrested in the cellars of Parliament. The famous object was given to the University of Oxford by Robert Heywood and then was transferred to the Ashmolean Museum, where it can still be seen today.
The former monarch loved fireworks so much that she created a title for the lucky person she considered to be the best firework maker in the country, who would then be known as the “Fire Master of England”. How about that for an accolade?
…just in case anybody tries to take a leaf out of Guy Fawkes’ book on this Bonfire Night.
This unique tradition during Bonfire Night sees the East Devon village’s locals taking turns to carry large barrels of burning tar on their shoulders in celebration – maybe not one to try at home.
If you do fancy catching this event, why not book one of our cottages in Devon to spend your Bonfire Night here?
This means that three of them burning together can reach the same temperature as a blowtorch. So make sure you put them out in a bucket of water to avoid any accidents!
Resting to the North-West of Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands is the uninhabited island, named Isla Guy Fawkes, or Guy Fawkes Island. To this today, no one knows why the island claimed the name, maybe it was where he planned to escape to?
If successful, Guy Fawkes and his accomplices would have completely destroyed the building, as well as causing damage to buildings which surround the Houses of Parliament and transformed how we see London today. Research tells us that the blast of 2,500kg of gunpowder would have destroyed Westminster Hall and the Abbey.
Ironically, in 1834 the cellar where the gunpowder was stored was destroyed in an accidental fire.
How can this be, I hear you ask? It was a Chinese cook in the 10th century who accidentally invented fireworks by mixing thee common ingredients found in kitchen back then: sulphur, charcoal and a salt substitute. The mixture was set alight and resulted in colourful flames.
If you have any other interesting facts about Bonfire Night, be sure to let us know and share your Bonfire Night photos with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! If this has sparked your interest, read more about places to spend Bonfire Night.
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