"Remember, Remember, the 5th of November" so the saying goes, but as we are fast approaching another fiery celebration of Guy Fawkes, we got to thinking here at the Oakeley Arms about where it all began.....
Of course, you know it all began when Mr Fawkes tried (and failed miserably) to blow up the houses of parliament on the 5th November 1605. But what's so special about this incident that we are still celebrating it in style over 400 years later?
Guy Fawkes was one of a group of Catholic protesters, who wanted to kill the Protestant King of England, James I, and replace him with a Catholic king. Of course, the plot failed and the thankful king allowed his supporters to celebrate by lighting bonfires in towns and villages across the country. By the following year, an act of parliament (known as the Act of Thanksgiving) had been passed that declared that the 5th of November should be a public holiday (although attendance at church was mandatory) because it was believed that James' survival was largely down to divine intervention.
Guy Fawkes himself....
However, it wasn't long before the celebrations took on fervent religious connotations, with many Protestants using the day to voice their anti-catholic views, with violence and disorder often breaking out.
Thankfully these days, the celebrations are less about religion and more about enjoying a crisp winter's evening, warming food and drink and a cracking bonfire and firework display.
But, don't forget to plan carefully and take care, so you can enjoy a stress-free and happy Bonfire Night for all the family. Here are our top tips for staying safe:
- Plan your bonfire night carefully - from where to let off the fireworks to where your guests will stand and who's in charge of lighting the fireworks.
- Store fireworks in a closed box and take out one at a time when you need them. Keep them away from heat sources and naked flames.
- Never throw a firework, and never go back to it once it's been lit.
- Don't use paraffin or petrol to light a bonfire. And make sure it's out completely before you leave it.
- Make sure children have got thick gloves to wear whilst holding a sparkler, and never give a sparkler to children under 5.
- If in doubt about hosting your won firework party, then why not look up your local firework display and head there instead!
You can find out more information about safe fireworks here, and make sure you have a night to remember, for all the right reasons!
Image by alko on scx.hu