Bonfire Night

British people celebrate Bonfire Night every year on 5 November in memory of a famous event in British history, the Gunpowder Plot. On 5 November 1605 a group of Roman Catholics planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament while King James I was inside. On the evening before, one of them, Guy Fawkes, was caught in the cellars with gunpowder (= an explosive), and the plot was discovered. He and all the other conspirators were put to death. Bonfire Night is sometimes called Guy Fawkes Night.
  Originally, Bonfire Night was celebrated as a victory for Protestants over Catholics, but the festival is now enjoyed by everyone. Some children make a guy, a figure of a man made of old clothes stuffed with newspaper or straw to represent Guy Fawkes. The guy is then burned on top of a bonfire on Bonfire Night. A few days before, children take their guy into the street and ask for a ‘penny for the guy’, money for fireworks (= small packets of explosives which, when lit, make a bang or send a shower of coloured light into the air). Only adults are legally allowed to buy fireworks.
  Some people hold private bonfire parties in their gardens, while others attend larger public events organized by local councils or charities. Chestnuts or potatoes are often put in the bonfire so that they will cook as it burns. Fireworks such as Roman Candles, Catherine Wheels, bangers and rockets are put in the ground and are let off one by one. Children hold lighted sparklers (= metal sticks covered in a hard chemical substance that burns brightly when lit) in their hands and wave them around to make patterns. Unfortunately, there are sometimes accidents involving fireworks and there are now restrictions on the type of fireworks that can be used by the general public.
  The events of 5 November 1605 are celebrated in a nursery rhyme:
Please to remember,
The fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot;
I know no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bonfire Night — can refer to a number of occasions:* Guy Fawkes Night on 5 November in the UK * St. John s Eve, on 23 June in Ireland * Bonfire Night on 11 July in Northern Ireland, precursor to The Twelfth * Bonfire Night, on the Queen s Birthday long weekend… …   Wikipedia

  • bonfire night — bonfire .night Bonfire Night n [U] November 5th, when people in Britain light ↑fireworks and burn a ↑guy on a large outdoor fire = ↑Guy Fawkes night …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Bonfire Night — Bonfire ,Night the night of November 5th, when British people have bonfires and light FIREWORKS to celebrate the day in 1605 when Guy Fawkes was stopped before he was able to destroy the Houses of Parliament: GUY FAWKES NIGHT …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Bonfire Night — noun effigies of Guy Fawkes are burned on this night • Syn: ↑Guy Fawkes Night • Hypernyms: ↑November 5 * * * Bonfire night noun 5 November, Guy Fawkes night (see ↑guy2) • • • Main Entry: ↑bonfire …   Useful english dictionary

  • Bonfire Night — Die Schwarzpulververschwörer, Zeichnung von Crispijn van de Passe dem Älteren. Dritter von rechts: Guy Fawkes. Die Schießpulververschwörung (engl. Gunpowder Plot, seiner Zeit als Powder treason (Pulververrat) bekannt) war ein Versuch von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bonfire Night — also bonfire night N UNCOUNT Bonfire Night is the popular name for Guy Fawkes Night. Syn: Guy Fawkes Night …   English dictionary

  • bonfire night — see Bonfire Night …   English dictionary

  • bonfire night — noun a celebration, on the 5th of November, to remember the failure of the gunpowder plot of 1605. Syn: Guy Fawkes night …   Wiktionary

  • bonfire night — noun (singular) November 5th, when in Britain people light fireworks and burn a guy 1 (2) on a large outdoor fire; guy fawkes night 1 (2) …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • Bonfire Night — UK / US the night of 5th November, when British people have bonfires and light fireworks to celebrate the day in 1605 when Guy Fawkes was stopped before he was able to destroy the Houses of Parliament …   English dictionary

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