Fawkes Day


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Fawkes (Guy) Day

November 5
On the night of November 4, 1605, 36 barrels of gunpowder were discovered in a cellar beneath the Houses of Parliament in London. The conspirators of the so-called Gunpowder Plot, who planned to blow up King James I and his government to avenge their laws against Roman Catholics, were discovered and arrested, and on January 31 eight of them were beheaded. While Guy Fawkes didn't originate the plan, he was caught red-handed after someone tipped off the king's ministers. And he was among those whose heads were displayed on pikes at London Bridge.
The following year, Parliament established November 5 as a national day of thanksgiving. Children still make effigies of Guy Fawkes and ask passersby for money ("Penny for the Guy") which they spend on fireworks. The effigies are burned in bonfires that night, and fireworks traditionally fill the skies over Britain in remembrance of the failure of the Gunpowder Plot.
CONTACTS:
House of Commons Information Office
House of Commons
London, SW1A 2TT United Kingdom
44-20-7219-3000; fax: 44-20-7219-5839
www.parliament.uk
Gunpowder Plot Society
160 S.W. 12 Ave., Ste. 108
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
954-427-3542
www.gunpowder-plot.org
SOURCES:
BkDays-1864, vol. II, p. 546
BkFest-1937, p. 61
BkHolWrld-1986, Nov 5
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 284
DictDays-1988, pp. 51, 90, 96
FestSaintDays-1915, p. 199
FolkAmerHol-1999, p. 439
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 644
OxYear-1999, p. 448
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
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