Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, is a traditional British celebration held annually on 5th November. It is a night filled with fireworks and bonfires and is a great way to get together with family and friends and celebrate. Every year, millions of people in the United Kingdom and around the world come together to mark this special day. Here are the top 10 facts about Bonfire Night that you need to know.
1. Bonfire Night is also known as Fireworks Night and Guy Fawkes Night!
Bonfire Night has lots of different names.
It is also called Fireworks Night and Guy Fawkes Night!
What do you call it?!
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2. It is celebrated on 5th November because of the Gunpowder Plot.
Bonfire Night is celebrated in the United Kingdom on 5th November.
This is because in the early hours of 5th November 1605, Guy Fawkes was caught in his tracks. He was found beneath the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder, ‘three matches, and all other instruments fit for blowing up the powder, ready upon him’.
The game was up and Guy Fawkes was arrested and taken to the Tower of London to be imprisoned and interrogated. But who was the man behind the mask?
We celebrate on this day because he was unsuccessful!
3. There were 13 people involved in the Gunpowder Plot.
It wasn’t just Guy Fawkes who was involved in the Gunpowder Plot.
The reason he is mentioned so much is because he is the one who got caught.
However, there were others behind it all.
They were Thomas and Robert Winter, Thomas Percy, John and Christopher Wright, Robert Catesby, Francis Tresham, Robert Keyes, John Grant, Thomas Bates, Ambrose Rookwood and Sir Everard Digby.
Embed from Getty Images4. The Houses of Parliament are still searched today!
Did you know that the Houses of Parliament are still searched today?
It usually happens every year, just before the State Opening of Parliament.
The search is done by the Yeoman of the Guard.
You can never be too careful!
Embed from Getty Images5. If Guy Fawkes was successful, it could have made 500 metres worth of damage.
It’s a good thing that Guy Fawkes wasn’t successful.
There would have been lives lost but also it is estimated that there would have been 500 metres worth of damage to the surrounding area.
This would have damaged a lot of Central London and so it could have looked much different today.
6. An anonymous letter was sent to warn of the Gunpowder Plot!
An anonymous letter was sent to Lord Monteagle about the Gunpowder Plot.
They warned him not to attend parliament that day and to stay safe.
The letter said:
My lord, out of the love I beare to some of youere frends, I have a care of youre preservacion, therefore I would aduyse you as you tender your life to devise some excuse to shift youer attendance at this parliament, for God and man hath concurred to punishe the wickedness of this tyme, and thinke not slightly of this advertisement, but retire yourself into your country, where you may expect the event in safety, for though there be no apparance of anni stir, yet I saye they shall receive a terrible blow this parliament and yet they shall not seie who hurts them this cowncel is not to be contemned because it may do yowe good and can do yowe no harme for the dangere is passed as soon as yowe have burnt the letter and i hope God will give yowe the grace to mak good use of it to whose holy proteccion i comend yowe.
Embed from Getty Images7. King James I said we should celebrate on 5th November.
The reason for the Gunpowder Plot was to kill King James I.
It was organised by a man called Robert Catesby.
He didn’t like that King James I was a Protestant.
Robert wanted Catholics to rule in England.
Luckily, King James I was safe and made sure that we all celebrated on 5th November.
Embed from Getty Images8. In Britain, it was once illegal not to celebrate Bonfire Night!
Did you know that is was actually illegal NOT to celebrate Bonfire Night?
This was until 1959 when that rule was scrapped.
The only place that didn’t have to celebrate it was St Peter’s School in York.
This was the school that Guy Fawkes went to!
Embed from Getty Images9. During the war, no one was allowed to set off fireworks or light bonfires.
During the wars, no one was allowed to set off fireworks on light bonfires.
This is because it would show the enemies where they were!
However, as it was still illegal not to celebrate, people had to celebrate indoors.
10. Fireworks were invented by accident.
We’re lucky that fireworks even exist!
They were invented by accident in China.
A chef mixed charcoal, sulfur, and saltpeter together.
It burned in a bamboo tube and exploded!
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