Bonfire night, or Guy Fawkes Night, on 5 November each year, is celebrated in England, Scotland and Wales but not in Northern Ireland, so children in Northern Ireland may not know what Bonfire Night is about.
On the evening of 5th November each year, bonfires are lit and fireworks set off. Very often a “guy”, a stuffed dummy, is burnt on the bonfire. It’s a great celebration and children look forward to it for days beforehand. The bonfires may be lit by individual families in their gardens and there may also be organised celebrations in many areas, with firework displays. These are much safer, as every year, people are injured and sometimes even killed by fireworks. Bonfires can also be dangerous and have set houses on fire. The Fire Brigade and hospitals are always on alert on Bonfire Night.
Bonfire night celebrates the foiling of a plot to blow up Parliament with barrels of gunpowder in England in 1605. The “guy” or stuffed dummy that is burnt on the bonfire is named after Guy Fawkes, who was the man caught below Parliament with the barrels of gunpowder and a match, ready to light the fuse.
The video below, gives a good explanation of what happened in 1605, over 400 years ago.
A poem was also written about it and there are several versions. Only the first verse is given here:
The fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!