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Sarah Pritchard

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Remember, Remember the Fifth of November
11/4/2007 3:32:55 PM

Guy Fawkes Night


Remember, remember the Fifth of November,

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,

I know of no reason

Why Gunpowder Treason

Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent

To blow up King and Parliament.

Three-score barrels of powder below

To prove old England's overthrow;

By God's providence he was catch'd

With a dark lantern and burning match.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!


Traditionally the following verse was also sung, but it has fallen out of favour because of its content.

A penny loaf to feed the Pope

A farthing o' cheese to choke him.

A pint of beer to rinse it down.

A faggot of sticks to burn him.

Burn him in a tub of tar.

Burn him like a blazing star.

Burn his body from his head.

Then we'll say ol' Pope is dead.

Hip hip hoorah!

Hip hip hoorah hoorah!


As it is Fireworks Night tomorrow night, I thought I'd share it with you.  Although we are living in France, where this is not celebrated, we have been invited to a party down the hill (as the family is also English).  There are French people invited too.  We will be giving them a history lesson to explain this tradition.

My two youngest, Raymonde and Isabelle, haven't been to a Firework Night  for Guy Fawkes before, so I'll have to try to explain it to them too.

I can remember the twins being scared when they were little, but that was at big public displays which were very noisey.

For you folks, I nipped over to  Wikipedia.

Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes Night(also known as Bonfire Night) is an annual celebration on the evening of the 5th of November. It celebrates the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot of the 5th of November 1605 in which a number of Roman Catholic conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

It is primarily marked in the United Kingdom, but also in former British colonies including New Zealand, parts of Canada, and parts of the British Caribbean. Bonfire Night was also common in Australia until the 1980s, but it was held on the Queen's Birthday long weekend in June.

Festivities are centred around the use of fireworks and the lighting of bonfires.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, celebrations take place in towns and villages across the country in the form of both private and civic events. They involve fireworks displays and the building of bonfires on which "guys" are burnt. These "guys" are traditionally effigies of Guy Fawkes, the most famous of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators, or (very much less commonly in the present day) the Pope. Before the fifth, children traditionally use the "guys" request a "penny for the guy" in order to raise funds with which to buy fireworks.

In the United Kingdom, there are several foods that are traditionally consumed on Guy Fawkes Night:

A Fountain.

In the Black Country, it is a traditional night for eating groaty pudding.

In Lewes, it is a major festival that is also tied up with the 17 Protestant martyrs that were burnt at the stake during the Catholic reign of Mary Tudor. There are torchlight processions in costumes necessitating the closure of the town centre. The usual bonfires are topped off by burning effigies of Guy Fawkes and, often controversially, other unpopular figures including the pope. Additionally a burning barrel of tar is thrown in the river. The local police repeatedly call for restraint and warn of overcrowding.

In Ottery St Mary, in Devon, burning barrels of tar are carried through the streets:

"Ottery St. Mary is internationally renowned for its tar barrels, an old custom said to have originated in the 17th century, and which is held on November 5th each year. Each of Ottery's central public houses sponsors a single barrel. In the weeks prior to the day of the event, November 5th, the barrels are soaked with tar. The barrels are lit outside each of the pubs in turn and once the flames begin to pour out, they are hoisted up onto local people's backs and shoulders. The streets and alleys around the pubs are packed with people, all eager to feel the lick of the barrels flame. Seventeen Barrels all in all are lit over the course of the evening. In the afternoon and early evening there are women's and boy's barrels, but as the evening progresses the barrels get larger and by midnight they weigh at least 30 kilos. A great sense of camaraderie exists between the 'Barrel Rollers', despite the fact that they tussle constantly for supremacy of the barrel. In most cases, generations of the same family carry the barrels and take great pride in doing so. ... Opinion differs as to the origin of this festival of fire, but the most widely accepted version is that it began as a pagan ritual that cleanses the streets of evil spirits.

Guy Fawkes Night is less commonly celebrated in Northern Ireland, where autumn fireworks and bonfires are more commonly associated with Hallowe'en.

 Southern hemisphere

Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night (and the weekend closest to it) is the main night for both amateur and official fireworks displays in the UK and New Zealand.

In Australia, Guy Fawkes Night is mostly known simply as Bonfire Night and bears little connection to its original purpose. Celebration of Bonfire Night has died down due to the banning of fireworks in most states and territories to prevent their misuse.

The day was moved to a more suitable time of year due to the threat of bush fires in the dry Australian summer.

In New Zealand, the retail sale of personal use fireworks is permitted to those 18 and older, and may now only be sold on the 4 days leading to Guy Fawkes Night. Firecrackers have been banned since 1993, and rockets or any firework where the firework itself flies have been banned since 1994. Despite these sales restrictions, there is actually no restriction on when one may light fireworks, only a restriction on when they may be sold. Despite the insistence of most anti-fireworks campaigners, the continuing "mad rush" of fireworks sales show that New Zealanders still appreciate fireworks and/or Guy Fawkes.


In the Caribbean nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, this is a very exciting night in the town of Barrouallie, on the main island of St. Vincent's leeward side. The town's field comes ablaze as people come to see all of the traditional pyrotechnics.


Happy Guy Fawkes Night



Remember to clean up your rubbish after the event.  We don't want litter pollution or neglect of caring for Mother Earth.


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Roger Macdivitt .

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Re: Remember, Remember the Fifth of November
11/4/2007 4:16:32 PM


How weird is that.

Have you seen my forum posted yesterday?


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Georgios Paraskevopoulos

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Re: Remember, Remember the Fifth of November
11/4/2007 4:25:28 PM
Hello Sarah!

I am just coming from Rogers' forum. I am very glad this year two good English friends decided to give us the gunpowder and the revolt that turned to be one nice celebration in Great Britain and the "colonies".

Thank you for sharing

Happy Sunday
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Re: Remember, Remember the Fifth of November
11/4/2007 5:31:43 PM

Hi Sarah,

Thanks very much for this forum! I got a bit of a history lesson today...this was not something I had ever learned or knew about before now. I enjoyed reading and learning about the fireworks and bonfires, and Guy Hawkes! This is a very interesting bit of culture from the UK...thanks so much for sharing it!

I enjoyed the article and I always love to learn new this was really great!

Thanks again and God Bless You Hon,

Love Marilyn


Marilyn L Martin
"The ALP & TGAMM Couple"
"Rick & Marilyn Martin...Married 11/17/06"
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Sarah Pritchard

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Re: Remember, Remember the Fifth of November
11/5/2007 6:00:08 AM

Great to see you here.

You know what they say, Great minds think alike.  Welcome great mind!! LOL

I hadn't seen your thread.

We should have got together on this one!

I couldn't resist this firework graphic:

Rather cheeky!

Happy Guy Fawkes night.

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