Guy Fawkes Night

Date

November 5

History

Guy Fawkes Night is also known as Guy Fawkes Day and Bonfire Night. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605: Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was caught guarding explosives placed beneath the House of Lords and was then arrested. People celebrated the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life. They lit bonfires around London. Months later, the Observance of 5th November Act was introduced. It enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot's failure.

Traditional observance

Celebrations used to include bonfires and explosives. At some point in the 18th century and for reasons that are unclear, it became customary to burn Guy Fawkes in effigy. Today, celebrations usually involve public fireworks displays. Generally, celebrations are run by local charities and other organisations, with paid admission and controlled access.
 
 

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