Monday, 5 November 2007

Remember Remember the 5th of November...


Remember Remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot....

Traditional Nursery Rhyme (Author unknown)

In case you are unfamiliar with this rhyme, perhaps I should explain. The rhyme refers to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 when Guy Fawkes was caught on 5th November in the cellars of the English Houses of Parliament with several barrels of gunpowder. He was tried as a traitor and subsequently hung, drawn and quartered; along with his co-conspirators.

The King and parliament remembered the event annually and the rhyme was a warning through the generations to not forget the treason of Guy Fawkes.

To this day, the 5th of November is commemorated throughout England with fireworks and bonfires topped with an effigy of Guy Fawkes. The weeks leading up to Guy Fawkes' Night or Bonfire Night are marked by children making their own guys and asking for "A penny for the guy".

Whilst Guy Fawkes' Night is not a Canadian festival, I remember trudging through wet leaves (it almost always rained!) to the town firework display and watching the guy burn on the bonfire. The morning after, the odour of gunpowder and smoke hangs in the air like a fog and I have to admit that I miss this annual festival.

November has always seemed a better month for a firework display than the times that they generally occur here in Canada, as the fireworks are seen much more clearly on a really dark night. It is also fun to get bundled up in warm clothing and go out to enjoy a display

A friend of ours holds his own display here in Canada and one day, when I have a garden of my own; I intend to establish my own Guy Fawkes' celebration. You are all invited....