Guy Fawkes Day Project - Fireworks and Bonfires
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Guy Fawkes Day


BBC Video explains Guy Fawkes Day

There's a famous verse about Guy Fawkes' plot to blow up the King of England and the Houses of Parliament in 1605, and it goes like this:

Remember, remember the Fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

To remember Guy Fawkes Day, people in England celebrate the fifth of November every year as a holiday even today. They build bonfires, set off fireworks, and sometimes hang or burn stuffed images of a man called a "Guy".

Did you know that our habit of calling a man a "guy" comes from Guy Fawkes? People called the stuffed dolls "guys", because they represented Guy Fawkes. Then they called anybody who looked awkward or funny a "guy", because he looked like those stuffed dolls. After a long time, "guy" started to mean any man, and today people even use "guys" to mean all people: men, women, whatever.

One small project: learn to recite the verse. For a bigger project: make a "guy" and burn him in a bonfire. (But be safe!) What kind of evil would your guy represent?

Bibliography and further reading about Guy Fawkes Day:

Early Modern England
Restoration England
Anne of Austria in France
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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