Thursday, 6 November 2008

Remember, Remember the 5th of November:Fireworks & Festivities

Last night was no less than our most random British celebration.

Bonfire night/Guy Fawkes night.

Yes, that cheery celebration of catching those crafty catholic conspirators who plotted to blow up the Houses of Parliament with gunpowder way back in 1605 when frankly gunpowder was the best option you had for attempting to blow up British government or anything else really.

That Guy Fawkes fella was the chief conspirator and so therefore greedily gains all the glory by having the whole evening named after him.

Luckily
their plans were foiled and they had the pleasure of death by being hung, drawn and quartered. (The good ole days were fun, right?)

So in memory of the occasion us Brits unite for some Fireworks and of course generally food.

When I was a kid (forever ago) we used to make our own Guy's out of old tights and clothing stuffed with newspaper and fling him on the bonfire during the nights festivities, you know, just for fun.

Bonfire night has had mixed reviews from our kids thus far. Year one at 10 months Thomas was enthralled and delighted, Year two he was terrified and Eli was oblivious, Year 3 we decided to skip it entirely (which is practically treasonous behaviour) and this year we just planned to attend our church shindig which some bright spark (no pun intended) had arranged for Friday night.

Friday night is 2 days too late for Bonfire night.

But we figured we could get away with it because fireworks have been sporadically going off now for weeks and fortunately our kids are too young to pay any kind of attention to a calendar. Phew!

Alas I didn't take into account that both playgroup and school would be whipping them into a fireworks night frenzy yesterday (thanks for that British educational system) Thomas came bounding out all over excited that today was the big day and we could have a bonfire and fireworks.

I explained that we were having ours on Friday instead at church with all his friends. He reacted like I just told him Santa doesn't exist coupled with a future without TV.

Yes, that badly.

Fast forward a few hours and we were in the in laws garden. Rob had been to Tesco to get us some family friendly fireworks. (I have to admit all fireworks are spoiled forever to me now. Having spent 4th of July at Disney's Magic Kingdom nothing can top that. It was seriously firework heaven. Everything else is just a bit lacking in comparison.)
Impressive I know!
One little boy who is thrilled regardless.


So you may recall we have two kids.

One of which practically emotionally blackmailed us into the whole impromptu fireworks fandango.

Where's Thomas you wonder?

Well this will be our firstborn indoor with grandma because after the very first lame firework he announced 'I want to go home now!' Typical.
So I'll leave you with a cheerful little ditty we used to sing as kids at this time of year,

Guy, Guy, Guy,
Poke him in the eye,
Put him on the Bonfire and let him die.

Charming, no?

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18 lovely comments:

Vic said...

I'm not sure whether I'm happy about it or not, but the boy really isn't a fan of fireworks - he hates the noise. He'll happily watch them on film though.

Lauren W said...

What fun! I love fireworks, but I know what you mean about having them ruined for you :)
Those photos with Eli are so adorable, and I think that it's hilarious that Thomas was done after one :)

Jen said...

There were so many things about this post that cracked me up. I have never heard of this tradition before. It is very...um... bizarre?
And of course Thomas hid from the fireworks. Too funny!

I have a hard time watching non-Disney fireworks now too. A fireworks show is just a waste of time without Jiminy Cricket singing "When you wish upon a star".

Aprille - The Muddled said...

It really is interesting to observe other country's traditions from an outsider's perspective. that one is a little ummm - disturbing from this perspective. I guess it could be worse. and it does instill a umm respect(?) for the members of parliament. Lest your drawn, quartered and barbecued!

What traditions do Americans have that you find strange?

Anonymous said...

Every Nov. 5th I still remember remember even though it's been eleven years since my last Guy Fawkes night. Yep eleven years! Does that make you feel old?

Limby

Krystyn said...

Such a weird holiday...but who doesn't love fireworks...well, except for #1!!!

Wendy said...

Thanks for the history lesson...I LOVE history! I never have heard of this fun holiday.
Thanks for sharing. Your boys are just adorable!

Angela said...

Hi! I just found your blog from The White House and I totally love it! I want to add you to my blog roll, if that's okay, and hopefully I can help you get some more traffic and therefore comments -- I've read through a couple of your top ten posts so I know you love comments. Who doesn't, though? :)

Also, I am enthralled that on your "It's my blog..." post you say that Colin Firth was the best Mr. Darcy. I have such a hard time convincing people (here in America) that the BBC version of P & P is much better than the terrible Keira Knightly version (which I could barely watch). But I have loved Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle from the moment they first appeared on my television.

Angela
Jacksonville, FL

Melissa said...

you Brits are SO violent! ;)

Such typical three-year old behaviour.... Throw a fit about wanting something and then once they get it, they don't want it anymore. Oh the joys....

Eli sure looked like he had fun though! You just look plain cold! :D

EmmaP said...

so funny! I always wondered what Guy Fawkes day was. Now that song will be stuck in my head! thanks! hahaha

purplehaze said...

Hi it is fun to learn about other country's traditions, that is a strange one,but if you get fireworks out of hey what the heck. By the way Emma sent me!!

anti-supermom said...

I love that you Brits have a holiday where you get to stuff a pretend man and throw him into a bonfire.

You guys are so cool :)

Sorry for the little guy, maybe next year, huh?

Claire said...

Robbie has just asked why I'm laughing so loud. It was because I scrolled down and saw the picture of Thomas inside... HAHAHAHA. Classic. Wee soul...

Mama Smurf said...

LOL...thanks for the education!

the rogers blog said...

Ah so nice to see you having fun. I missed the whole 5th of November thing here alot. Its one of my fav ever nights of the year. Anyone english we knew was busy and fireworks are illegal here if its not 4th July so we are gonna celebrate on saturday night by going up into the canyons and having a fire and smores. I'm excited and we are even going to make a guy today!! Did I say I was excited!!

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

when we were in London, we heard about this day!
And the little ditty is no worse than ring around the rosey (black death anyone?)

Cute pics and glad it was fun!

LadyFi said...

I love Bonfire Night.. here in Sweden they put candles on people's graves on Nov 1 or 2 instead. Yes - they are a cheerful lot! My daughter has been learning about Guy Fawkes in her English class and was desperate to try it out... we didn't, but it certainly brought back good memories of the Lewes Bonfire Night when nearly anything and everything was burned - usually the Pope and assorted politicians!

BTW, the Mindless Banterer sent me along.

AMY said...

Aahh...a penny for the Guy? Yeah, that is truly random, maybe more than some of our American traditions. England has so much wonderful history, you would think they could come up with something better to celebrate! Like you passing the drivers test? :)