Monday, November 5, 2007

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

Does that line ring a bell?

If you're English it does.

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,

I know of no reason why the gundpowder treason

Should ever be forgot.

If you're a fan of the movies, you've seen V for Vendetta, which is loosely based on Guy Fawkes, the lead character in the Gunpowder Treason.

For those of us on the left side of the pond who've never heard of Guy nor given him nary a thought if we have, Guy Fawkes Day is the celebration of the foiling of a plot that was meant to destroy parliament, murder King James I, and end the reign of Protestantism as the church of state in Great Britain (November 5, 1605) and the execution of Fawkes for treason (January 6, 1606.) Despite no FBI, CIA, NSA, MI5, or MI6, the plot was discovered and stopped before anyone was severely hurt.

That known and said, though, I'm sure I'm missing the depth and real (read: nationalistic) meaning of this day. So tell me, Anglophiles and cousin Brits, what is the purpose of Guy Fawkes Day and is it considered an excuse to party and blow off fireworks or is it a demonstration of patriotism?

Regardless, Happy Guy Fawkes Day!


Madame M. said...

Oh man. I totally did not remember. Although I'm thinking that setting off fireworks in the middle of the city would have not been appreciated by the neighbors or the Metro police ;o)

Miss Understood said...

Guy Fawkes Night (or Bonfire Night as we call it) is definitely just an excuse for a party - and for all the Dad's to turn into little boys again and make things explode in their gardens.

When we actually give a thought to the reason behind it all, it is Guy Fawkes himself who we're holding in high estemm for having the balls to try to get rid of parliament. We think he was a pretty cool guy!

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Mme. M: I think next year, I'll stockpile fireworks just for Guy Fawkes Night to annoy the neighbors. Hell, they blow them off until Labor Day. Why not wait a few more weeks. By the way--apparently the British Pantry in Aldie, VA (just west of Chantilly on Rte. 50) has a Guy Fawkes celebration every year.

Ms. U: Interesting. So, as a pro-Catholic, anti-Protestant/parliament/king kinda guy, he's actually considered cool? I think I like that. I wonder? Does the Queen have a bonfire on the grounds of Buckingham Palace on GFN?

Miss Understood said...

I think the Queen inserts her earplugs and tickles her corgis.