65 Bonfire Night Facts: Learn About This Celebration | Kidadl

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65 Bonfire Night Facts: Learn About This Celebration

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Bonfire Night is a night full of enjoyment and joy.

It is also known as Guy Fawkes Night. It takes place on November 5 of every year.

Get ready to learn some interesting facts about bonfire night. You will also be discovering the history of this wonderful event and its significance. Buckle up and enjoy this article.

Importance Of Bonfire Night

Bonfire night is a joyous event where you gather with your friends and family around a fire pit. With food (especially marshmallows) and blankets, the night just seems perfect. Here you will find some amazing Bonfire Night facts about what the event is like.

  • The evening of November 5 is observed as Bonfire Night.
  • This day marks the anniversary of a historical event: the failed attempt of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605.
  • This annual celebration is usually accompanied by food, bonfire night fireworks, and bonfire night photos.
  • It is also called Guy Fawkes Night because, on this day, Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators (13 men) plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London.
  • Primarily, the celebration of Bonfire Night is celebrated in Great Britain.
  • People light bonfires to celebrate Bonfire Night and see fireworks display.
  • East Sussex hosts one of the most famous Bonfire Night events and celebrates it with parades and public events throughout the town.
  • Sussex Bonfire Societies are the governing body for the failed gunpowder plot carnivals.
  • This occasion influenced a very eminent graphic novel named 'V for Vendetta' in the '80s and a 2006 movie of the same name.
  • King Henry VII started the ritual of a fireworks display to celebrate Bonfire Night.
  • Also, conventionally, children used to carry effigies called 'Guy' and ask for pennies and recite rhymes.
  • Fireworks became one of the major components of the carnival.
  • A fun fact about fireworks is that they were unintentionally invented by a Chinese cook around the 10th Century.
  • A mixture of sulfur, charcoal and salt substitute was made and set alight, which resulted in what we know now as fireworks.
  • Queen Elizabeth I was so fond of fireworks that she used to honor the best producer of fireworks with the 'Fire Master of England' accolade.
  • Villagers in East Devon have a strange tradition on this November night. They carry huge barrels of tar on their shoulders.
  • The celebration of Bonfire Night was halted during the First and Second World Wars.
  • This tradition has been going on for 400 years and has led people to come out of their houses and enjoy the evening.

Significance Of Bonfire Night

We have always read stories where good prevails over evil; Bonfire Night is all about such an event, where the King and parliament were about to be ambushed, but there was a plot twist, and the plan failed. Here are some facts which tell us about the significance of this night.

  • November 5 commemorates the day of a gunpowder plot that failed, meaning that the King and Parliament managed to stay intact.
  • This night always reminds us of the most vibrant days of British history and how the gunpowder treason plot changed history.
  • The night is enjoyable for people of all age groups and also keeps the tradition alive.
  • A few months after the gunpowder plot failed to blow up parliament, an act was passed called the Observance of November 5 Act.
  • The treacherous plot is fabled to have been led by Guy Fawkes, but this is actually not true.
  • As per historians, Robert Catesby was the leader of the gunpowder plot conspirators.
  • Guy Fawkes was just responsible for guarding the 36 barrels of gunpowder.
  • He tried to flee but was arrested in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament.
  • The lantern he was carrying with him while running away from the Houses of Parliament can still be seen.
  • The lantern is showcased in the Ashmolean Museum in England.
  • The lantern was given by Robert Heywood to the Oxford University and then, later on, was shifted to the Ashmolean Museum.
  • The failed gunpowder treason plot is celebrated throughout the UK.
  • England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are the countries where it was celebrated the most.
  • The streets of London are filled with parades and dolls of Guy Fawkes known as 'Guys', and firework displays are held on this day.

History Of Bonfire Night

The legend of Bonfire Night is no less fascinating than any famous Netflix plot; it has all the drama needed. Treachery, interest, and political assassination are what make this fable so famous.

  • The origin of Bonfire Night was the gunpowder treason plot that aimed to assassinate King James I.
  • The plan was to kill him as he was a Protestant and to replace him with a Catholic Queen.
  • The noted fable says that Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators consisting of 13 men were going to blow up the 36 barrels of gunpowder hidden in a basement underneath the House of Lords.
  • Guy Fawkes was born on April 15, 1570, in York.
  • He was a profound Catholic and also helped Catholic Spain win a conflict named the '80 Years of War'.
  • Guy Fawkes was also known as 'Guido', a name he acquired from other Catholics while fighting along with them.
  • He, along with some other Catholics, conspired to dethrone King James I.
  • There were 12 members of the gunpowder plot.
  • These were Robert Catesby, Thomas Bates, John Grant, John Wright, Thomas Winter, Thomas Percy, Robert Keyes, Ambrose Rookwood, Christopher Wright, Francis Tresham, and Sir Everard Digby, along with Robert Winter.
  • Guy Fawkes used to masquerade as John Johnson and started to fill a cellar underneath the Houses of Parliament, rented by the people involved in the plot, with barrels of gunpowder.
  • The alarm, which was sent to Lord Monteagle in the form of an anonymous letter, helped to stop the plot.
  • On that particular November night, Guy Fawkes was arrested in the basement underneath the Houses of Parliament.
  • They were guarding the gunpowder barrels and armed with long fuses.
  • After he was captured, Guy Fawkes was taken to the Tower of London and found guilty of treason.
  • Guy Fawkes confessed, and to escape torture, he jumped from the tower to his death.
  • There was enough gunpowder to blow the Houses of Parliament up into the sky and burn them into ashes.
  • The rest of the members of the gunpowder plot were arrested soon after and killed.
  • The destruction of the Houses of Parliament would have altered British History completely.
The first bonfire night facts are listed below, get to know them.

First Bonfire Night

Let us now explore the facts about the first bonfire and how it came to be so famous.

  • The first Guy Fawkes Night was celebrated on November 5, 1606, a year after the incident.
  • People from all around Britain gathered and started to light bonfires and burn effigies of Guy.
  • Although, it was prohibited to celebrate Bonfire Night in one place in the UK: St. Peter's School in York.
  • This is because Guy Fawkes was a former pupil of that administration.
  • To commemorate the Gunpowder Plot, the Houses of Parliament are searched annually by the Yeomen of the Guards before the state opening, which takes place in November.
  • A fun fact is that in an accidental fire, the original Houses of Parliament and the cellar were destroyed.
  • Guy Fawkes is still remembered in the Galapagos Islands, where he has an island named after him.
  • King James I used fireworks to establish his reign and dignity.
  • Baked potatoes along with toffee apples are the conventional foods of Guy Fawkes Night.
  • The search before the State Opening has become a ritual more than for security.
  • Fawkes is still considered an important figure among some Catholics.
  • The Gunpowder Plot carnival has spread across the globe, and many people celebrate it in different ways.
  • Many countries have a tradition of eating burnt marshmallows covered in a sliced banana on this day.
  • In 1607, 100 lbs (45.35 kg) of gunpowder and 14 lbs (6.35 kg) of matches were lit to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night.
Written By
Kidadl Team

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