Bonfire Night

Think some celebrations are entirely random? You wait till you see Bonfire Night (a.k.a. Guy Fawkes Night) in England.

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

The last four days or so – since Halloween really – fireworks have been going off around London, from various spots. Tonight, they’re celebrating in earnest, with fireworks going off pretty much everywhere, even from backyards.

When I asked for someone to tell me why, they said it was to celebrate the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot (1605), when a bunch of religious fanatics Catholics tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament with the honourable members inside, along with the King.

Far be it for me to question traditions, but celebrating it by… blowing up fireworks? You gotta wonder at the logic. Was there a surplus of gunpowder by any chance? I can imagine this didn’t go on too much during the world wars. Sounds vaguely like various bits of London are getting bombed on a regular basis.

And today, it would have been called a “terrorist incident” – bombs! religion! politicians! Will the Americans be celebrating 9/11 400 years from now with fireworks? (too soon?) :P Ah, you gotta love the English.

(on the other hand, Friday is Diwali – a perfectly good reason to blow up fireworks!)