Remember, remember, the 5th of November,
Of gunpowder treason and plot
I know of no reason why the gun powder treason
should ever be forgot
These were the most famous lines from the graphic novel and movie, V for Vendetta. The movie made the gunpowder treason as well as Guy Fawkes popular throughout the globe. For year now, the Guy Fawkes masked has remained a symbol of revolutions and was even used by many other people for propaganda. But who exactly is Guy Fawkes and what is the gunpowder treason? Why and how do we celebrate the 5th of November?
The 5th of November is popularly known in many different names. Some would call it Guy Fawkes day or Guy Fawkes night. Others call it Bonfire night or Firework night. It is celebrated annually in Great Britain. It is actually a celebration of the survival of King James I after the attempts made on his on the same night in 1605. To celebrate, the British light up fireworks and hold bonfires as it commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot.
In 1605, Guy Fawkes along with his companions rented a house close to the House of Parliament to smuggle 36 barrels of gunpowder in the cellar of the House of Lords. These were said to be enough to destroy the whole House of Parliament and kill King James I along with the explosion.
James was a protestant king who succeeded the throne after the regime of Queen Elizabeth. When the queen’s rule ended, many believed that the persecution they have felt for over 45 years would finally come to an end. Guy Fawkes was a member of gang of Roman Catholic activists led by Warwickshire-born Robert Catesby. They came up with an idea of assassinate the King and his ministers by blowing up the Westminster Palace to put an end to the persecutions. On the night of November 5, 1605, he was caught guarding the cellars along with the gunpowder to set off the fuse once the time has come.
Today, the 5th of November is celebrated all over UK. People light up bonfires, fireworks, and even burn some effigies to celebrate Guy Fawkes night. Parades are all over the streets and families have barbecue. It’s amazing how one historical event many years ago, could lead to such a fun and awesome celebration.