Guy Fawkes

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli’ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s providence he was catch’d (or by God’s mercy*)
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holla boys, Holla boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
And what should we do with him? Burn him!

This is the famous poem that children normally sing on Guy Fawkes’ Night (also known as Bonfire Night) and which  is an annual celebration, primarily in Great Britain, traditionally and usually held on the evening of 5 November. Historically, the celebrations mark the anniversary of the failed Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605. The date was originally made a public holiday in England by the anti-Catholic Thanksgiving Act of 1605, which was repealed in 1859.

In the United Kingdom, celebrations take place in towns and villages across the country in the form of both private and civic events. The modern events have no religious connotations. The festivities involve firework displays and the burning of bonfires, upon which an effigy (traditionally that of Fawkes) is ritually burnt.

If you want to know more about this festivity, watch the following video in which Nick Knowles explores the facts and the fiction behind the legendary Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot:

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