In the U.K. it has become a strange tradition to remember the 5th of November. As Brits, we are accustomed to the turnover of November with the smokey haze of bonfires, fireworks, and sparklers. Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire night, or Firework night commemorates that time some disgruntled catholic joined a plot to blow up Parliament (to put it in loose terms).
Usually, an effigy of Guy Fawkes known as the Guy is put atop large fires across the country to symbolise his failure in the gunpowder plot. Nothing screams the British colonial past more than encouraging our children to set alight mannequins and the unfortunate hedgehog in support of our government in this day and age. This coupled with a firework display, sparklers, and the gleeful disposition that government did not go up in flames makes the 5th of November a popular tradition celebrated throughout the U.K. by all generations.
As far as assassination plots in British history go, the gunpowder plot tops it all. If you want to kill a king, you might as well do it in style by blowing up the whole of parliament with all the king’s men (but not the horses) in it. The plot has been the inspiration for a series of popular adaptations in the forms of comics, books, and dystopian films exploring the what if and what a gunpowder plot would do to today’s society. However, this dystopian belief is widely skeptical amongst today’s community which is fairly hypocritical due to the manner of which we celebrate our 400-year-old tradition.
Sparklers and Magic
Moving onto something lighter – literally – the wonders of Sparklers. Turning any grown adult back into a child, sparklers encapsulate a certain magic we’ve only seen on tv or read about in books. With the introduction of the Wizarding World, courtesy of the illustrious J.K. Rowling my childhood along with most others in my generation find magic truly magical. Every year I remember waiting for the sparklers to be brought out, whispering “Lumos” as it ignites. And as it dies down swishing the sparkler around and uttering “nox.” All whilst walking around outside imagining the Hogwarts grounds around you in the dark.
With age comes education, yet I still refuse to believe that sparklers are a chemical creation explained by science. I merely acknowledge and appreciate its involvement. They have been and always will be pure magic.
Onto fireworks. Who doesn’t like fireworks? (except of course the loud noises, the smoke pollution the impending doom of them not going off, etc.) They temporarily paint the night sky with colour and wonder, making the darkest and coldest of nights vibrant.
This year I didn’t go out to watch any fireworks displays. Mainly as I was transfixed by sparklers and also watching the Ireland-New Zealand rugby match. But there is always New Year’s!
Boring Responsible Warning: Just remember to stay safe around fireworks as they are fire and can be unpredictable! (Also be aware of your surroundings and be considerate of others)