Bon­fire Night

Spotlight - - VOCABULARY -

Do you know the rhyme “Re­mem­ber, re­mem­ber, the fifth of Novem­ber. Gun­pow­der, trea­son and plot”? Bon­fire Night, or Fire­works Night, com­mem­o­rates the Gun­pow­der Plot of 5 Novem­ber 1605, when Guy Fawkes and his fel­low Ro­man Catholic con­spir­a­tors plot­ted to blow up the Houses of Par­lia­ment, with the Protes­tant King James I in­side. The bar­rels of gun­pow­der were dis­cov­ered, the plot was foiled and the con­spir­a­tors were ex­e­cuted by the tra­di­tional method for traitors

— they were hanged, drawn and quar­tered. Some Catholics pre­fer not to take part in Bon­fire Night events, es­pe­cially where the tra­di­tional “guy”— an ef­figy of Guy Fawkes — is burned. For most peo­ple, the events of 1605 are just a good ex­cuse to let off some fire­works, to en­joy the heat of a blaz­ing bon­fire and to watch the flames leap­ing into the night sky. The fire­works dis­play lasts for only a few min­utes, but it’s the grand fi­nale of the evening. Rock­ets shoot up into the night sky and ex­plode into a thou­sand stars. The whizzes and bangs of the fire­works are fol­lowed by gasps and cheers from the watch­ing crowd of peo­ple.

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