November 5 is Guy Fawkes Night in the UK. Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives they had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London. Guy Fawkes Night later became an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.
Immediately before his execution on 31 January, Fawkes fell from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck, thus avoiding the agony of being hanged, drawn and quartered. He became synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot, the failure of which has been commemorated in Britain as Guy Fawkes Night since 5 November 1605.
Bonfire Night – Lewes UK
Bonfires were accompanied by fireworks from the 1650s onwards, and it became the custom after 1673 to burn an effigy (usually of the pope) when heir presumptive James, Duke of York converted to Catholicism. Effigies of other notable figures have found their way onto the bonfires, such as Paul Kruger and Margaret Thatcher, although most modern effigies are of Fawkes. The “guy” is normally created by children from old clothes, newspapers, and a mask. During the 19th century, “guy” came to mean an oddly dressed person, while in American English it has lost any pejorative connotation and instead refers to any male person and the plural form can refer to people of any gender (see you guys).