Bonfire Night?

In charge of the mid-afternoon slot, chat with Scott!
-- On the Air from 1PM - 6PM

Moderator: ScottB

Bonfire Night?

Postby lliam » Sat Nov 06, 2004 10:59 am

I'm not sure if I've asked this question before, so here goes.

Do you folkes in 'New England'still celebrate, 'Bonfire Night'("Pope Day")?
======================

For almost 400 years, bonfires have burned
on November 5th to mark the failed Gunpowder Plot.
----------------------


The tradition of Guy Fawkes-related bonfires actually began the very same year as the failed coup. The Plot was foiled in the night between the 4th and 5th of November 1605. Already on the 5th, agitated Londoners who knew little more than that their King had been saved, joyfully lit bonfires in thanksgiving. As years progressed, however, the ritual became more elaborate.

Soon, people began placing effigies onto bonfires, and fireworks were added to the celebrations. Effigies of Guy Fawkes, and sometimes those of the Pope, graced the pyres. Still today, some communities throw dummies of both Guy Fawkes and the Pope on the bonfire (and even those of a contemporary politician or two), although the gesture is seen by most as a quirky tradition, rather than an expression of hostility towards the Pope.

Preparations for Bonfire Night celebrations include making a dummy of Guy Fawkes, which is called "the Guy". Some children even keep up an old tradition of walking in the streets, carrying "the Guy" they have just made, and beg passersby for "a penny for the Guy." The kids use the money to buy fireworks for the evening festivities.

On the night itself, Guy is placed on top of the bonfire, which is then set alight; and fireworks displays fill the sky.

The extent of the celebrations and the size of the bonfire varies from one community to the next. Lewes, in the South East of England, is famous for its Bonfire Night festivities and consistently attracts thousands of people each year to participate.

Bonfire Night is not only celebrated in Britain. The tradition crossed the oceans and established itself in the British colonies during the centuries. It was actively celebrated in New England as "Pope Day" as late as the 18th century. Today, November 5th bonfires still light up in far out places like New Zealand and Newfoundland in Canada. :cool:
Lliam.

I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted - George Best
lliam
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 1698
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Darlaston - West - Midlands - U.K.

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby lliam » Sat Nov 06, 2004 11:04 am

What's a holiday without sweets that rot your teeth?


Treacle Toffee To Stick Jaws Shut ·


Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups soft brown sugar
1/2 cup demerera sugar (crystalized, light brown sugar)
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup black treacle
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vinegar

Recommended equipment: Candy Thermometer.

Before you start, butter a low-side cake-tin and set aside, you'll be pouring the toffee in it for setting later.

Place ingredients in large heavy pan and heat slowly, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Then, cover and bring to a strong boil. To keep mixture from sticking to the bottom, stir for the next 10 minutes, or until your mixture reaches 280ºF.

If you don't have a candy thermometer and you want to check that your mixture is ready, drop a little of the mixture, into a glass of cold water. If it forms a hard ball, then the toffee is ready to be set.

Pour into the tin you prepared and let cool.

When the toffee is half set, mark it into squares. When the toffee is hard, break it up, and eat inordinate amounts.


· Bonfire Baked Potatoes ·

Items Needed:

One potato
One long stick or instrument to shove the potato into the bonfire
Butter, salt, pepper, and other condiments to lather onto your baked potato.

Find a good potato and wrap it tin foil.

Take your long stick or instrument to shove the potato gently into the bottom of the bonfire. The base of the bonfire is where all the heat is, so watch your fingers and eyebrows.

Don't forget where you put your potato!

About forty-five minutes later (one hour later, if you picked a very big potato), pull out that tuber and let cool for a few minutes.

Enjoy!
Lliam.

I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted - George Best
lliam
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 1698
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Darlaston - West - Midlands - U.K.

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby lliam » Sat Nov 06, 2004 11:06 am

Remember, Remember...


Immortalized in this nursery rhyme, the Gunpowder Plot is introduced early into the young minds of children throughout the United Kingdom.

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot.
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

Guy Fawkes, guy, t'was his intent
To blow up king and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England's overthrow.

By god's mercy he was catch'd
With a darkened lantern and burning match.
So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring.
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king.

And what shall we do with him?
Burn him!
Lliam.

I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted - George Best
lliam
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 1698
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Darlaston - West - Midlands - U.K.

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby lliam » Sat Nov 06, 2004 11:12 am

The History
=============

In 1605, Guy Fawkes (also known as Guido - yes, really) and a group of conspirators attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament.


After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, English Catholics who had had a rough time under her reign had hoped that her successor, James I, would be more tolerant of their religion. Alas, he was not, and this angered a number of young men who decided that violent action was the answer.

One young man in particular, Robert Catesby suggested to some close friends that the thing to do was to blow up the Houses of Parliament. In doing so, they would kill the King, maybe even the Prince of Wales, and the Members of Parliament who were making life difficult for the Catholics. Today these conspirators would be known as extremists, or terrorists.


To carry out their plan, the conspirators got hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder - and stored them in a cellar, just under the House of Lords.

But as the group worked on the plot, it became clear that some innocent people would be hurt or killed in the attack. Some of the plotters started having second thoughts. One of the group members even sent an anonymous letter warning his friend, Lord Monteagle, to stay away from the Parliament on November 5th. Was the letter real?

The warning letter reached the King, and the King's forces made plans to stop the conspirators.

Guy Fawkes, who was in the cellar of the parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities stormed it in the early hours of November 5th, was caught, tortured and executed.

It's unclear if the conspirators would ever have been able to pull off their plan to blow up the Parliament even if they had not been betrayed - some people think the gunpowder they were planning to use was so old as to be useless. Since Guy Fawkes and his colleagues got caught before trying to ignite the powder, we'll never know for certain.

Even for the period which was notoriously unstable, the Gunpowder Plot struck a very profound chord for the people of England. In fact, since the failed coup, the reigning monarch only enters the Parliament once a year, on what is called "the State Opening of Parliament". Prior to the Opening, and according to custom, the Yeomen of the Guard search the cellars of the Palace of Westminster. Today, the Queen and Parliament still observe this tradition.

These days, Guy Fawkes Day is also known as Bonfire Night. The event is commemorated every year with fireworks and burning effigies of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire.

Some of the English have been known to wonder whether they are celebrating Fawkes' execution or honoring his attempt to do away with the government. ;)
Lliam.

I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted - George Best
lliam
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 1698
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Darlaston - West - Midlands - U.K.

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby lliam » Sat Nov 06, 2004 11:29 am

Was there really a Gunpowder Plot, or were the "conspirators" framed by the King?


There was no doubt an attempt to blow up Parliament on November 5th 1605. But Guy Fawkes and his associates may have been caught in a Jacobean sting operation which would have served the authorities by casting Catholics, or Recusants, as an enemy to be pursued.

By the time Queen Elizabeth died, after ruling for about fifty years, most people only remembered living under her rule. When James I succeeded to the throne, many saw an opportunity for change. Those who felt particularly hard done by, both by Elizabeth I and James I, even felt that the situation was so bad as to require, in Fawkes' own words, "a desperate remedy": it was an opportunity to simply replace the current king.

These were unstable times indeed, with several smaller plots being discovered in the years preceding 1605. In fact, many of the Gunpowder plotters were known as traitors to the authorities. For this reason, it would have been difficult, if not unlikely, that they could gather 36 barrels of gunpowder and store them in a cellar under the house of Lords without the security forces getting suspicious.

Furthermore, the letter warning one of the members of government to stay away from Parliament is believed today to have been fabricated by the king's officials. Historians suggest that the King's officials already knew about the plot, that one of the plotters in fact revealed the key points of the plot to the authorities. The suspected turncoat? Francis Tresham.

The letter, then, would be a tool created by the King's officials to explain how, at the last minute, the king found out about the Plot and stopped it just before it wreaked its havoc on Parliament and himself. At the same time, the letter was vague enough to give the officials all the latitude they wanted in falsifying confessions and to pursue their own anti-Catholic ends.

There are two fundamental problems with the letter. Firstly, the letter was unsigned. Any and all of the conspirators, once apprehended, might have saved themselves from torture and perhaps even death if they could claim to have written it. None did. Not one of the conspirators who was caught appears to have known about the letter. Secondly, the letter was very vague in its content. It said nothing about the details of the planned attack. Still, the king and his men knew exactly the where and when to catch the conspirators and stop the explosion just hours before it was to take place.

How did they know?
Lliam.

I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted - George Best
lliam
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 1698
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Darlaston - West - Midlands - U.K.

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby lliam » Sat Nov 06, 2004 11:30 am

Guy and the Plot Today


Beyond the most obvious tradition of Bonfire Night, there are many ways in which Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot still affect our lives today.

Today, we use the word "guy" to mean "person" or "man", as in "that guy across the street". Although the Oxford English Dictionary won't vouch for this theory, many linguists and historians think that our use of the term in that way is from our friend Guy Fawkes.

It's difficult to trace the exact path of the word over the centuries, but it probably started by referring to the effigy of Fawkes that was thrown on top of the bonfire every November 5th as "a guy". Still today, as they walk down the street trying to collect money for fireworks, kids will ask for "a penny for the guy." From there, it's not a huge leap to talk about "a guy" as a living person. The use of the word would have grown from there.

Another tradition still observed by Britons is the annual visit of the Queen to Parliament every year. Ever since the Gunpowder Plot, the reigning monarch enters the Parliament only once a year, on what is called "the State Opening of Parliament". Prior to the Opening, and according to custom, the Yeomen of the Guard search the cellars of the Palace of Westminster. Today, the Queen and Parliament still observe this tradition.

No one really expects to find 36 barrels of gunpowder when our Yeoman undertake this task every year. But, just like most of us who like a good Bonfire Night, it's clear the Lords and MPs like a bit of a celebration, too.
Lliam.

I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted - George Best
lliam
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 1698
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Darlaston - West - Midlands - U.K.

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby shostakovich » Sun Nov 07, 2004 11:10 pm

Hi Lliam. Thanks for the history lesson. After all that effort we have to tell you we don't celebrate Guy Fawkes Day in the States. The event occurred many years before the the USA was born. I'm guessing you don't celebrate our Independence Day, July 4. Hope you had a nice bonfire.
Shos
shostakovich
1st Chair
 
Posts: 3393
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2000 1:01 am
Location: windsor, ct, usa

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby rwcrooks » Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:06 am

Shos,

I used to work for a Swedish firm that had a British president in the US. In addition to getting the 4th of July off we alwys got the 5th of July off as well (if it was a week day.) The presifdent always told us it was a British holiday call "Thank God we finally got rid if those damn colonials." Nobody believed him, but it didn't stop us from taking the day off anyway.
rwcrooks
3rd Chair
 
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Milwaukee

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby dai bread » Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:32 pm

We are moving towards big public displays of fireworks in this town. Or at least we were. Our Chinese colleagues seem to have other ideas, although I am told letting off fireworks is forbidden in at least the big Chinese cities.

In my boyhood, spent in a seaside town, we spent weeks scouring the neighbourhood for wood and old tyres that we could make a bonfire with. We made guys, and occasionally trundled them around the streets, but since we lived in a small place there weren't many people and so not much profit. The bonfires were built on the beach, well above high tide, obviously.

In my mid-teen years, I experimented with making my own fireworks using spent shot-gun cartridges (from duck-shooting) and bamboo stalks as containers. Such an activity would probably see me referred to the Youth Aid section of the Police these days, but life was much freer then in many ways.

Now, as infill housing and hooliganism unite in an unholy alliance, bonfires are a thing of the past unless you go to rural areas. Skyrockets have gone from the hands of the public, and bangers are supposed to have followed them, but again our Chinese friends have different ideas. Instead, there are big public displays, complete with skyrockets and bangs that just about rank as serious explosions. More spectacular than my childhood displays, but somehow not the same. :(
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
dai bread
1st Chair
 
Posts: 3020
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cambridge, New Zealand

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby shostakovich » Tue Nov 09, 2004 3:15 pm

posted 11-08-2004 09:06 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shos,

I used to work for a Swedish firm that had a British president in the US. In addition to getting the 4th of July off we alwys got the 5th of July off as well (if it was a week day.) The presifdent always told us it was a British holiday call "Thank God we finally got rid if those damn colonials." Nobody believed him, but it didn't stop us from taking the day off anyway.

Thanks, Rich. Good guys and bad guys are only distinguished by perspective. Damn Colonials or patriots? Only the names are different.

--------------------------------------------------

Hi DB. Were you referring to July 4 or Nov 5?

Shos
shostakovich
1st Chair
 
Posts: 3393
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2000 1:01 am
Location: windsor, ct, usa

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby ScottB » Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:40 pm

I have never heard of it.
ScottB
4th Chair
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Hartford, CT

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby dai bread » Fri Nov 12, 2004 11:28 pm

Nov. 5th, Shos. We haven't even got a free trade agreement with you guys, let alone statehood. Whereas we were part of the British Empire and still are part of the British Commonwealth. Sometimes I wonder why.

Then there's New Year. :D Our Chinese brethren really get stuck into that one. Even more than their own New Year that comes a variable number of weeks after ours.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
dai bread
1st Chair
 
Posts: 3020
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cambridge, New Zealand

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby lliam » Sat Nov 13, 2004 10:58 am

American tradition was via the celebration
of Election night. This is understandable because election night is scheduled to occur either on or within days of Guy Fawkes Day- November 5. Additionally elections are after all just another way of removing the head of state and isn't that just what the conspirators wanted to do?
:confused:
Lliam.

I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted - George Best
lliam
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 1698
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Darlaston - West - Midlands - U.K.

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby lliam » Wed Dec 08, 2004 2:58 pm

Originally posted by ScottB:
I have never heard of it.
Mmmm, why does that not surprise me.
Lliam.

I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted - George Best
lliam
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 1698
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Darlaston - West - Midlands - U.K.

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby ScottB » Wed Dec 08, 2004 4:03 pm

Fill me in on the joke Lliam.

<small>[ 12-08-2004, 04:14 PM: Message edited by: ScottB ]</small>
ScottB
4th Chair
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Hartford, CT

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby lliam » Fri Dec 10, 2004 12:17 pm

Originally posted by ScottB:
Fill me in on the joke Lliam.
What joke? :( :confused:

<small>[ 12-10-2004, 01:55 PM: Message edited by: lliam ]</small>
Lliam.

I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted - George Best
lliam
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 1698
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Darlaston - West - Midlands - U.K.

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby ScottB » Fri Dec 10, 2004 3:21 pm

Your post quoting me seems a little sarcastic I was just wondering what the joke was.
ScottB
4th Chair
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Hartford, CT

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby lliam » Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:23 pm

Originally posted by ScottB:
Your post quoting me seems a little sarcastic I was just wondering what the joke was.
Scott,

Do you mean:

Sarcastic Remarks
Sarcastic Humor
Sarcastic Insults
Witty And Sarcastic Comments
Sarcastic Quote
Sarcastic Responses
Sarcastic Phrases

The problem with sarcasm is anyone can use it, and somtimes they do. Sarcasm is an art, beautiful with wit if done right, and cliche if not. The rule spreads to all humor, you never know how bad your own is. I am often sarcastic, but I use it an artful way. When I'm sarcastic I often leave people thinking I wasn't, and that's how I like it. If you think I’m being sarcastic, and I’m not, that's your problem. Don't worry about it. :cool:
Lliam.

I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted - George Best
lliam
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 1698
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Darlaston - West - Midlands - U.K.

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby ScottB » Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:39 pm

It's clear you are being sarcastic. So now what? Are you going to entertain me with your wit some more?
ScottB
4th Chair
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Hartford, CT

Re: Bonfire Night?

Postby piqaboo » Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:42 pm

May I hazard a guess here? <meek icon>

ScottB-The-DJ wrote "never heard of it"
Lliam-The-Pot-Stirrer replied "why does that not surprise me"

Is it perhaps that Lliam (Brit) is not surprised that ScottB (Yank) has not heard of the Gunpowder Plot nor of Guy Fawkes Day (British historical event / holiday)? <quizzical icon>

And that jokes and sarcasm, while appreciated by many on this board, never came into it?

Hmmm?

<small>[ 12-10-2004, 04:43 PM: Message edited by: piqaboo ]</small>
Altoid - curiously strong.
piqaboo
1st Chair
 
Posts: 7135
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:01 am
Location: Paradise (So. Cal.)

Next

Return to Scott Birmingham

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

cron