Last night I managed to drag myself out to a family bonfire party and I am so glad I did, Amy had a lovely time.
Since Thursday I have had a pretty nasty stomach bug. I am sure I don’t need to go into details. By sunday night it had subsided enough that I was confident I could spend a couple of hours outside.
Being a good Catholic boy, and from a long line of non-royalists (to put it mildly) I shouldn’t really be in favour of this particular English tradition but to balance this there is a strong firebug gene that we find hard to resist. I am sure this tendency is what drew my Dad to the fire service. At least we can say we didn’t burn any Catholics in effigy.
Some bonfire night factoids
- Guy Fawkes was actually called Guido Fawkes
- As punishment he was hung until he was half dead and then his genitals were cut off and burned in front of him. Whilst still alive, his heart and bowels were removed from his body, he was then decapitated and his limbs removed from his body. Finally, his body parts were publicly displayed and left for the birds to eat them.
- He was actually religious rather than political activist, trying to remove the protestant leadership. His supporters maintain this was in revenge for the persecution of Catholics.
- Until 1959 it was illegal NOT to “celebrate” the date of Guy Fawkes arrest in England (now of course people do it by tradition voluntarily), you were considered unpatriotic and arrested if you did not celebrate the event.
- Around this time of year people built bonfires anyway in many locations as part of a long-standing pagan ritual along with halloween
- In the early years of burning effigies on this night it was more common to burn an effigy of the pope than Guy Fawkes