“Remember, remember, the Fifth of November
Gunpowder treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot”
Bonfire Night also known as Fireworks Night, Guy Fawkes Night and Guy Fawkes Day is an annual celebration observed on 5 November.
After Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested on November 5th 1605, while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords, the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.
Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people of London lit bonfires around the city.
To this day, it is customary for the cellars in the Houses of Parliament to be searched by the Yeoman of the Guard before each State Opening of Parliament.
In the United Kingdom Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated with bonfires, parades, music, food and fireworks – representing the explosives that were never used by the plotters. Straw effigies (“Guys”) of Fawkes are tossed on the bonfire. Traditionally, children would carry these “Guys,” through the streets in the days leading up to Guy Fawkes Day asking for “a penny for the guy,” often reciting rhymes associated with the occasion.
It is important to teach children about safety around any bonfires and fireworks displays they may attend over this time also as they may be in crowds, with lots of others or may be attending back garden fireworks and having access to sparklers themselves. Teaching them tricks such as putting sparklers into carrots so young children do not hold them in their hands and wearing gloves, are useful tips which you can also pass on to parents, perhaps through eyworks parental engagement tools.
Why not try some of these fun activities with your children this Bonfire Night;
- Make “sparklers” out of tinsel and pompoms
- Make a Guy
- Sort decoration bows by size or colour
- Bonfire night safety – talk to children about dangers and precautions to take
- Talk about the colours of fireworks
- Make firework paintings blowing through straws
- Discuss the noises fireworks and bonfires make
- Talk about the types of foods you may have on Bonfire Night
- Make rockets out of kitchen roll tubes
- Use your finger to draw fireworks in talcum powder or flour
- Create “Rocket” fruit kebabs
- Create “Catherine Wheels” using paper plates, paints and a salad spinner