Countries, UK

For Fawkes sake Bonfire Night as a holiday?

And because I like a Catherine Wheel as much as the next guy I ask here for Fawkes sake Bonfire Night as a holiday?

Well, they’ve remembered, remembered, remembered the Fifth of November every year since 1605.

When Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators tried to blow up the British king and his parliament and spark a catholic revolt.

That failed plot was mandated as a public holiday right up until 1859 and willingly since, in Britain and most of the Commonwealth.

Of course those once part of a British Empire, Ireland and the American Colonies, have shaken off the jingoistic British tradition.

And those considering splitting from the monarchy, Australia, have long since stopped burning effigies of Fawkes too.

Very modern plotters

Light up: The Houses of Parliament

But if the burning of Guys is your thing and who doesn’t like a fireworks display?

And it has been for millions since they switched from burning effigies of the Pope and priests in the 18th century to Guy Fawkes.

Then enjoy your fireside marshmallows, fireworks, funfairs and mulled wine.

Because it’s better burning effigies rather than real priests as they did back in the day.

Say it ain’t so: The Speak of the House

Of course 400 odd years has done little to assuage the public’s distaste for their parliamentarians.

Although thankfully we can bomb them out now at the ballot box.

And safely (we hope) protest outside the Houses of Commons and Lords as we will do on Tuesday at the royal state opening of parliament.

A plague on all your houses

Clowning moment: Charles and Camilla

And mai oui, plus ca change as Fawkes et son amis (hoity toity Englishmen parler francais then).

Because it was precisely because the king and his parliament were all in the one place at the time that the plotters acted then.

Now those who are joining the Republic protest against the royals on Tuesday, as the king gives his speech, want fervently to bring down the House of Windsor.

Through the force of argument and the people’s will.

It’s a hot subject, much like those bonfires.

London calling

To the Tower: A prisoner of fortune

But one thing is for sure, the focus will be on London, as it so often is, so take it all in.

And if you’re visiting the Big Smoke you can even book a tour of the Houses and take in a sitting.

Even if this republican and my peaceful plotters say For Fawkes sake Bonfire Night as a holiday?


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