Friday, November 6, 2009

Bonfire Night

OK, this may make no sense unless you are a Brit... One of the sad side effects here in the UK of the spread of US-style Halloween celebrations (trick or treat, etc) is that Bonfire Night (November 5th) is getting less and less important... well, that and the fact that Health & Safety loonies up and down the country keep trying to put out the bonfire for good. Don't get me started on Conkers!

Being of a nervous disposition and apt to jump out of my skin when I hear a firework let off, I used to spend Bonfire night hiding in the under-stairs cupboard along with terrified pets. The fact that it all scared me didn't stop me from thinking it was a great event, everyone else enjoyed it... and there were Toffee Apples (my favourite fruit - although I've never seen a Toffee Apple Tree!) and hot dogs, etc... to compensate :o)

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Over the last few years, I have gradually gotten over my more OTT panics and started to really look forward to the spectacle. It's a great part of our British traditions and celebrates the turbulent and bloody history of our country and I think we would be poorer without it. If you look at the events it celebrates, well, perhaps you could see a point in banning it. In 1605, a plot to blow up Parliament was foiled on the 5th of November - Gunpowder, Treason and Plot. The plotters were Catholics disappointed that the new King James (Son of the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots) was failing to end the persecution of members of their faith in Britain. The man left to light the fuse, Gay Fawkes, suffered terrible torture and now we burn his effigy every year to celebrate.... gruesome... but fun ;o)

Of course, particularly now, there are many of us who would question whether another plot to blow up Parliament would be such a bad thing? I'm not sure Queen Liz could hardly make a worse job of running the country with her Corgis as front-benchers. I doubt anyone would miss the current batch of politicians (well, Boris Johnson, perhaps, but he's off being Mayor of London and rescuing ladies from muggers on his bicycle, so it's doubtful he'd get caught in the blast!), apart from those paid to clean their moats and feed their ducks.

Let's not forget our traditions though, however dodgy the historical basis. I know many catholics who gleefully build their bonfires and stoke up the barbecue and everyone is welcome to come and view the beautiful fireworks... penny for the Guy?

11 comments:

Sophia said...

I recently heard about this story from a UK friend here, and was quite intrigued about it. It is sad that such an event (because of lunatics), is losing out. One can only hope for a turn around! :)

Happy Friday!

Yve said...

Of course the weather doesn't help! Last night we had gale-force winds and torrential rain over pretty much the whole country... didn't stop us though... there where plenty of stiff upper lipped milk-bottle rocket launchers out there braving the elments :o)

Olde Baggs n Stuft Shirts by LindaOma said...

I have never commented on your blog before but have been a follower for a time and would like to share with you my whole hearted support. I feel like the government officials, whether in the UK or the US, who try to run our lives for us are taking our traditions and celebrations from us "willy nilly". I too have wonderful memories of particular celebrations (like our burning of Zozobra, old man gloom, here in New Mexico and others) that are now so regulated and some declared against the law. And all this done "for our own good". It is a sad thing. But party on my dear. Linda in New Mexico
By the way, your work is phenomenal, you should do a Zozobra, it would be wonderful I am sure.

Abi said...

Oh I miss Bonfire night :O( one of my favourite celebrations - actually, I don't like the thought of burning a soul, but the fireworks are fabulous - always bought a tear to my eye.
Love the latest blog look Freaky. x

The Josie Baggley Company said...

I agree. Over here in Ireland it is totally against law now to build & light a bonfire without an organised certified event! well that's because we're all incapable to think for ourselves(doesn't matter that only last week Trinity College discovered a drug that destroys leukemia cells!) how the hell could could we possibly survive without government bodies telling us eegits what to do? I mean we can't have everyone free to jump around like we're enjoying ourselves(during a recession?enjoying ourselves-for FREE! are you mad?). no the world over is a more safer peaceful place thanks to world governments!We'd be lost without them. & traditions? Culture? Fun?- Nonsense.
Above mostly sarcasm

Yve said...

Don't worry, Josie, I caught the sarcasm ;o) I thought things would be better in Ireland, thought they'd be more up for a good time, I guess not :o( Abi, you should let off some fireworks this weekend, we are doing it all over again tonight as my nephew is staying with us... beside, everyone in Texas will just think "Mad English woman"

Zozobra, not heard the name. guess I'll be over to you to check that out later, thanks for commenting, hope to hear from you again :o)

The Josie Baggley Company said...

Ah sure I knew YOU would! well here in Dublin the whole city was dressed up. Basically everyone was in costume taxi- drivers included! When you'd walk by the restaurants it was so funny to see witches,edward scissorshands, pac-man(yep smeone dressed up as pacman)sitting down to eat!Great night..but still missed the ol' bonfire.
Rainey

Yve said...

Josie, our isalnd's are going MAD! Somewhere or other, Devon I think, the Council projected a FILM of a bonfire onto big screens and let off a load of fireworks behind a safety screen!!!!???? Beggars belief really, you couldn't make this stuff up!

Abi said...

LOL - did you hear that they are trying to ban sharp knives in restaurant kitchens?

Abi said...

Thanks for the ADO blog comment LOL - just one thing.... where is the red carpet?

Yve said...

I think they ought to ban cookers too... you can burn yourselves on those things! I can send you a red carpet but you will need teeny feet, it's for my doll house! :o)