The Guy Fawkes Day Tradition

Norris & Company Realty, LLC

Remember, Remember the 5th of November, Gun Power Treason and Plot:

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 and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James’s sake!
If you won’t give me one,
I’ll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

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The Guy Fawkes Day Tradition

 

Guy Fawkes, is also known by the name Guido Fawkes, which is the name he adopted while crusading for the Spanish in the Low Countries. He was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics who designed the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. (This article was brought to you by Michael and Dee Norris Realtors, Norris & Company Realty, LLC. Winter Haven Real Estate, Providing your trusted Real Estate Services for over 20 years).

On the evening of November 5th, beacons of fire flame high in parts of England. Effigies are set ablaze and the sounds of flickering fireworks fill the air. Even though it is celebrated around the same time and has some similar traditions, this celebration has nothing to do with Halloween or the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Many of the English stopped celebrating Halloween as Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation began to spread. As followers of the new religion were against believing in saints, and since saint worship did not take place among them, they had no reason to celebrate the eve of All Saints’ Day. By chance, a new autumn ritual did emerge. Guy Fawkes Day festivities were designed to salute the execution of a notorious English traitor, Guy Fawkes.

Fawkes was executed on November 5th 1606, after being tried and convicted of attempting to blow up England’s parliament building. Fawkes admired a Catholic group who wanted to remove the Protestant King James from power, and Fawkes became a member. The very first Guy Fawkes Day was celebrated right immediately following his execution. The first bonfires, which were called “bone fires,” were set up to burn effigies and symbolic “bones” of the Catholic pope. Effigies of the pope were replaced with those of Guy Fawkes over two centuries later.

In addition to making effigies to be burned in the fires, poor children throughout England saw an opportunity to capitalize from the tradition and began to walk the streets carrying an effigy or “guy” and ask for “a penny for the guy,” although they keep the money for themselves. This is very close to the American tradition of “trick-or-treating” as can be found in England in current times. Guy Fawkes Day was also known and celebrated by the pilgrims at the first settlement at Plymouth. It didn’t last because, as the young nation began to make achievements and begin its own history, Guy Fawkes was celebrated less frequently and eventually it was a shameful thing of the past. (This article was brought to you by Michael and Dee Norris Realtors, Norris & Company Realty, LLC. Winter Haven Real Estate, Providing your trusted Real Estate Services for over 20 years).