Burning effigies in the street… a fine British tradition.

The British are a rum lot… every year on November the 5th they celebrate the failure of Guy Fawkes to blow up Parliament in 1605 by burning effigies all across the country.

The fine habit of giving coins to children begging with their home-made effigy “Peny for the Guy!” is in decline. The fireworks children buy with the money they are given have become safer and illegal to those under 16 years. There are fewer street bonfires in many towns, shunned for the larger, safer organised events.

Of course Guy Fawkes, purportedly part of a Jesuit plot, was catholic and part of a religious minority persecuted by the Protestants under Elizabeth I and now James I of England (James VI of Scotland). Parliament on the 5th November 1605 was packed with nobles, the House of Lords, Commons and of course the King. Perhaps Guy Fawkes and his colleagues were right to worry about religious rights being trampled on… something which some in Britain today would sympathise with. Quite a terrorist response they planned, to wipe out all of parliament (including catholics) in one go!

One wonders whether the British should be mourning the passing of a tradition where communities gather together with their children to organise a bonfire and plan a small firework display for which they are responsible for safety. We should celebrate such quirky traditions.

Global Nomad101 would love to hear about any quirky traditions your community may have, after all we love to celebrate diversity.


Posted in life. 1 Comment »

One Response to “Burning effigies in the street… a fine British tradition.”

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