Bonfire night is a celebration that takes place on November 5th. It can also be known as Guy Fawkes night or Fireworks night. Three things make Bonfire Night special; 1. There is a blazing bonfire that lights up the November sky. 2. There is a ‘dummy’ or Guy that sits on top of the bonfire. 3. There are fantastic fireworks that add sparkling lights and sound effects to the celebrations as the whistle, screech and bang into the air. Celebrations on 5th November remember an event that happened in 1605. On that day the lives of King James and his parliament were in danger as a plot to blow them up was discovered. Guy Fawkes was caught in the cellar with barrels of gunpowder.
Remember, remember! Here is a famous children’s rhyme about Guy Fawkes; Remember, remember the fifth of November Gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason, why gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot. Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes 'Twas his intent To blow up the houses of parliament, Three score barrels of powder below Poor old England to overthrow. By God’s providence, he was catched With a dark lantern and a burning match!
The Gunpowder Plot The leader of the plot to blow up the King was not Guy Fawkes but a man called Robert Catesby. His plan was to rent a house next door to the Houses of Parliament and dig an underground tunnel leading into the cellar of the Parliament buildings. They would then use the gunpowder to blow the buildings up. The men rented the house and started to dig a tunnel. They stored 36 barrels of gunpowder in the cellar ready for the state opening on November 5th. They covered it with firewood to hide it from the soldiers and Lord Mounteagle. At first they didn’t see it, but then the soldiers came and the plot was uncovered.
Guy Fawkes was discovered with barrels of gunpowder. He was not the leader of the plot, but he was an expert with gunpowder. Guy was in fact his nick name. His real name was Guido. Guido was born in York and went to St. Peter’s School. He made friends with two brothers at school, John and Christopher Wright, years later they all became members of the Gunpowder Plot. When Guido left school he became a soldier. While he was fighting in Spain he learnt how to use gunpowder. After he had been captured by the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Mounteagle, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London and tortured but he would not give the names of the other plotters. They were all eventually caught and found guilty of treason and killed. Their heads were cut off and left on top of wooden poles in the centre of London.
Penny For The Guy! At one time in the days leading up to Bonfire Night, children could be seen on street corners asking anyone who passed to give a ‘penny for the Guy’. The children made a stuffed dummy using old clothes, newspaper and sometimes straw. The dummy often wore a mask and was sat in a wheelbarrow. The dummy represented Guy Fawkes. It would be burnt on the bonfire on November 5th. Begging for a penny for the guy was a way in which children could collect money to buy fireworks. Children under 18 are no longer allowed to buy fireworks so the custom of penny for the guy has started to die out. Sometimes, Guys are made to collect money for charity.
Bonfire Night Facts! The Celts used to have a celebration called Samhain which means Summer’s end.It was at the end of October or the beginning of November. They also lit huge bonfires and had torchlight processions. Bonfire Night was first celebrated in 1606 on the anniversary of the plot to kill King James. An ancient Christian festival involving fire and fireworks was held hundreds of years ago in November. It was in memory of St. Catherine who was put to death on a spiked wheel. We now have wheel shaped firecrackers called Catherine Wheels.
The History of Fireworks. The first fireworks were made in China nearly 2000 years ago. They were made using pieces of hollow bamboo to hold the gunpowder in and were known as ‘firecrackers’. Fireworks used to be used at religious ceremonies in China. The famous explorer Marco Polo was said to have brought fireworks to Europe. Florence, a city in Italy became the place where most fireworks were made. The first recorded use of fireworks in England was in 1486 at the wedding of King Henry VII. The first fireworks were only gold and silver. They were very popular by the time of King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I had a master to organise her fireworks events. Her displays could be 183 metres long and 27 metres high.
Over 130 million fireworks were sold in Britain last year Last year there were over 1500 recorded accidents involving fireworks. At family garden displays, sparklers cause more injuries than any other firework. DANGEROUS fireworks The majority of firework accident happen to children under 14. Throwing a firework is a criminal offence with a fine of £5000 Three sparklers burning together create the same heat as a blow torch.
The Firework Code Fireworks look beautiful, but they can be very dangerous. You should follow these rules when using fireworks; Never go near or use fireworks without an adult. Keep fireworks in a box or tin and get them out one at a time. Keep a bucket of water close by. Follow the instructions on each firework carefully. Direct fireworks away from people watching. Use a taper or firework lighter and light them at arms length. Do not return to a firework even if it looks like it has gone out. Do not throw fireworks or put them in your pocket. Keep pets indoors Stand well back
Some advice... Sparklers are viewed as harmless but they burn at high temperatures. Wear gloves and hold it at arms length. Never wave sparklers at other people, you could burn them. When the sparkler has finished put it into a bucket of water or sand and leave it there. Make sure bonfires are well away from houses and trees. Never use flammable liquids like petrol to get a bonfire going. Before lighting a bonfire check there are no animals hiding in it. Light the bonfire after the fireworks have gone off. Don’t throw anything onto a bonfire. If someone’s clothes catch fire remember… STOP don’t run DROP to the ground ROLL over to smother the flames
Firework Poems Fireworks make loud noises when they fly into the sky. Look are the sounds below. We call sound words ONOMATEOPIA words crash bang crackle sizzle blast snap pop w h i z z whoosh fizz whirl boom Can you make up a fireworks poem using these words? Try reading this one first!
Bonfire Night Poem The fire was burning orange and bright, The sparks were jumping into the night, Crackling, spitting, hissing and popping, Flames were leaping, dancing and bopping. Catherine wheels whizzed around and around Leaving a trail of sparks on the ground Up go rockets, way up high Into the depths of the black night sky.
With a sizzle and a sudden great boom, A speeding rocket goes up high, BOOM! For a awhile it went silent, many did cower, Until down on the crowds came a bright colourful shower. Screamers whizzed and bangers banged, Sparklers sparkled, where did the sparks land? A night full of surprises, excitement and fun, Without Guy Fawkes, what would we have done?