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Bonfire Night 2013
Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, is a celebration which takes place on the evening of the 5th of November across the United Kingdom. It celebrates the failure to blow up the Houses of Parliament by Guy Fawkes along with a group of conspirators in 1605.
Guy Fawkes and his friends were a group of Catholic extremists who desired to return England to the Catholic faith. They formulated a plan known as the 'Gunpowder Plot', intending to blow up the Houses of Parliament along with King James I and everyone in government. The conspirators had rolled 36 barrels of gunpowder into the cellars of the Houses of Parliament and were awaiting the King's arrival. The plan was foiled and the conspirators were arrested and executed.
The traditional celebrations take place across the country, with people organising their own Bonfire Night parties or by attending organised fireworks displays. They would stand around the bonfire and enjoy warming food like jacket potato and sausages, whilst watching a fireworks display. The night is closely associated with the popular rhyme which begins:
Remember, remember the fifth of November,
a reminder of the cheek of Guy Fawkes, trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament!
Children make effigies of Guy Fawkes which are named 'Guy' to throw on the bonfire. The 'Guy' would be made by stuffing old clothes with newspapers, a head crafted out of material with a face drawn on it. In the week leading on to 5th November, children would push the 'Guy' around in prams and push-chairs requesting 'A penny for the guy'. Adults give them money which would be spent on sweets rather than on fireworks which are not sold to children.
In the weeks leading up to 5th November, fireworks become widely available throughout the UK. A large number of injuries are caused at this time of year by the irresponsible use of fireworks. Recent years have seen increasing calls, from emergency service members amongst others, for a ban on the public sale of fireworks, allowing their use only at licensed displays. Less drastically, some have suggested that the use of fireworks should be permitted only on Bonfire Night itself or on the closest Saturday to that date. To this end The Fireworks Regulations 2004 came into force on 7th August 2004. This specifically prohibits detonation of fireworks after 23:00 except on specific days; restricts the sale of fireworks to certain windows during the year; and prohibits their sale to minors.
Sunday, 19 May, 2013