—Journal des élèves nº11 – 17 Mars 2016 — —Conectado: L'info qu'il nous faut —
On November 5th, people celebrate a special night in the United Kingdom: BONFIRE NIGHT.
History of Bonfire Night
On November 5th 1605, Guy Fawkes, a Catholic opponent, planned to kill King James by blowing up the Parliament. He was unhappy with the way he and all the Catholics were treated by the king. They put 36 barrels of gunpowder in a cellar under the Parliament. This plot failed; Guy Fawkes and his friends were arrested and executed.
This day was called the “Gunpowder Plot”.
King James decided to celebrate this day to make people remember he had survived the plot.
Tradition of Bonfire Night
For the 5th of November, people make an effigy of Guy Fawkes called “ragdoll guy” and they also make big bonfires. There are parties in town followed by torchlight processions. The “ragdoll guys” are burnt in the bonfires and thousands of fireworks are set off.
During the days before this celebration, children walk along the streets with their Guys and ask for money to buy firecrackers saying “a penny for the guy”.
Children recite this traditional poem on Bonfire Night when effigies of Guy Fawkes are burned.
The fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
We see no reason why
Should ever be forgot
Food on Bonfire Night
Traditional Bonfire Night food consists of jacket potatoes, toffee apples (apples on a stick, covered in sweet toffee) and marshmallows cooked in the bonfire. In the North of England, they eat a special type of cake called parkin.
Similar celebrations in other countries
In Andorra, we don’t celebrate Bonfire Night but Saint John (Sant Joan) on 24th of June.
In La Seu d’Urgell the 12th of May, “Correfoc” is very similar to Bonfire Night.
In France, for National Day on the 14th of July, French people also set off fireworks.
In Barcelona, “La Mercè” is celebrated on the 24th of September
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone, written by J.K. Rowling, starts with the murder of Harry’s parents. Their friends set off fireworks to hide Harry’s arrival at his aunt’s and make people believe it is Bonfire Night.