Quick Facts

November 5th

Learn about Gunpowder Day

Remember, remember! The fifth of November, The Gunpowder treason and plot…

Known as Guy Fawkes Night or Fireworks Night, Gunpowder Day focuses on the plot by Guy Fawkes and other conspirators to blow up Britain’s parliament in 1605. Rebelling against the persecution of Catholics by King James I, they planned to kill the monarch during his visit to parliament. But the scheme was foiled and the traitors executed.

On Gunpowder Day, families construct an effigy of Guy Fawkes to be burned on a bonfire that evening. Fireworks are also set off to add to the celebrations. Public displays are also held and the biggest celebration of Gunpowder Day is in Lewes in East Sussex, England.

Six bonfire societies host their own fireworks displays and gargantuan bonfires. After sunset, a large procession of all of the societies moves through Lewes. Many members carry flame torches and a river of fire can be seen flowing through the town during the evening.


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In all my life I’ve never heard of it being referred to as ‘Gunpowder Day’. It’s usually called Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes Night, or Fireworks Night. Celebrations rarely happen during the day (not the best time to see fireworks to be honest) but at night you will always be able to see fireworks in the sky – from small fireworks and sparklers at home, to huge organised events across the country. Lighting a bonfire is still very much a tradition too, although the tradition of ‘Penny for the Guy’ has pretty much died out.

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