Guy Fawkes Night

And what a lovely night for a bonfire! It is rainy and foggy but mild, my favorite kind of weather. Coffee and sweater weather.

It’s Guy Fawkes Day, or Guy Fawkes Night, or Bonfire Night, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with the holiday, it celebrates the night of November 5, 1605 when Guy Fawkes (one of many conspirators) was discovered guarding an undercroft below the British Parliament building stuffed to the gills with gunpowder, firewood, and coal. Conspirators planned to blow up Parliament on opening day, assassinating King James, and place James’s daughter the Princess Elizabeth (Elizabeth of Scotland, future Queen of Bohemia) on the throne in his place. The preservation of the king was ordered to be celebrated with bonfires, and the tradition has held ever since. Usually Guy himself is also burned, in effigy, although public figures who draw the peoples’ ire may also find themselves burned in effigy.

No bonfires for us tonight, but it just so happens I was planning on good British shepherd’s pie for dinner.

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli’ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s providence he was catch’d (or by God’s mercy*)
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holla boys, Holla boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
And what should we do with him? Burn him!

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