Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night Quick Facts - GB

AKA NameGuy Fawkes Day, Guy Fawkes Night
HashtagsCompiled on#BonfireNight
Related Hashtags#Fireworks, #GuyFawkesNight, #Bonfire
2023 Date5 November 2023
2024 Date5 November 2024

Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night in
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Bonfire Night History

Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, commemorates the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in which a group of individuals, including Guy Fawkes, attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Key aspects of the observance include the lighting of bonfires, setting off fireworks, and burning effigies of Guy Fawkes.

The origins of Bonfire Night can be traced back to November 5th, 1605, when Guy Fawkes was discovered guarding a cache of explosives beneath the House of Lords. Following his arrest, residents of London were encouraged to celebrate the King's deliverance by lighting bonfires. This tradition gradually became an annual event, with individuals adding fireworks and the burning of effigies to the observances over time. For people in the United Kingdom, Bonfire Night serves as a reminder of the importance of securing and maintaining political stability, as well as being an opportunity for communities to come together in celebration.

In the United Kingdom, Bonfire Night celebrations often begin with a torchlit procession through the town, followed by the lighting of a large community bonfire. Fireworks displays are a major aspect of the evening, with both public and private events taking place throughout the country. Effigies of Guy Fawkes are typically burned atop the bonfires as a symbolic representation of the Gunpowder Plot's failure. Bonfire Night takes place every year on November 5th, with celebrations occurring across the United Kingdom.

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Bonfire Night Facts

  • Guy Fawkes smuggled in 36 barrels of gunpowder to the rented house next to the House of Parliament. According to physicists, the 2,500kg of gun powder would've destroyed 500m of the surrounding area.
  • A common tradition is to search the cellars of the House of Parliament before the state opening each year. The Yeomen of the Guard perform a ceremonial check as a reference to the gunpowder plot 400 years ago.
  • The lantern that Guy Fawkes carried in 1605 can be found displayed in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.
  • Guy Fawkes look and appearance (his manicured moustache and beard) became synonymous with rebellion after the 2005 movie, V for Vendetta showed the protagonist wearing a mask resembling Fawkes face.
  • The key figure behind the Gunpowder Plot was Guy Fawkes, a Catholic who aimed to overthrow the Protestant government and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. Fawkes was discovered guarding barrels of gunpowder beneath the House of Lords, and he was subsequently arrested, tortured, and executed.

Bonfire Night Top Events and Things to Do

  • Attend a parade. There are usually firework displays to celebrate the day. The fireworks represent the explosives that were never used by the culprits.
  • Attend a bonfire. A common tradition is to toss straw dummies onto bonfires as they represent Guy Fawkes.
  • Learn more about the gunpowder plot of 1605.
  • Lighting bonfires is a traditional activity during Bonfire Night, and many communities host bonfires in parks or fields.
  • Visit historical sites associated with Guy Fawkes, such as the Houses of Parliament, where Guy Fawkes was caught with barrels of gunpowder.

Bonfire Night References and Related Sites History of Guy Fawkes

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