Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes Night, is a long-established British tradition.

Bonfire Night is welcomed because we need something to cheer us at the start of winter. It also commemorates an important event in our history. Do I not want to keep old traditions alive, as I am fond of history? What’s not to like about it?

Bonfire night has spread too far

  • We hear fireworks throughout October, not only at night. Some people may love this, but others find it a nuisance.
  • People who love animals. and that’s a lot of us, don’t like to see them so frightened by all the bangs.
  • It would be easier to protect our animals and to endure the annoyance, for only one night.
  • Bonfires and fireworks usually cause injuries and damage to property and that would be a lot worse but for the efficiency of the fire brigade.

Bonfire night celebrates what?

We remember that a group of Roman Catholics failed to blow up parliament and the royal family, intending to establish a monarchy that would impose that religion on everyone. Guy Fawkes was not the leader but the authorities caught him first.  In a previous post, I wrote of the relevance of Guy Fawkes to the stories in my Highwaypersons series.

The cover of Highwaypersons, Book IV, Blood in the Heather. Bonfire Night was more relevant in those days.

Bonfire Night was more relevant in those days.

We can celebrate the fact that the plotters failed to destroy parliamentary government and the Protestant faith, but do we want to keep alive our old religious prejudices? Are there not many better moments in our history for us to celebrate?

Who’s on the bonfire?

  • Do you burn a ‘Guy’ on your bonfire?
  • Do you rejoice at Guy Fawkes’s fate? (Tortured, condemned and sentenced to hanging, drawing and quartering.)
  • He was misguided and unlucky but there have been many worse people.
  • Should we ever burn an image of a human being?

Penny for what?

Children sometimes ask for money for their ‘Guy’, (I wouldn’t try offering 1p these days) but they seldom say what the money is for. If the idea is just to raise pocket money for poor children, I can think of better ways.

Have your say!

  • Do you value Bonfire Night? What do you think you are celebrating?
  • What other bit of history would you rather we celebrated?
  • Do you like burning a dummy?

Let me know what you think.