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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guy Fawkes Day Bonfire Night

Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night is a macabre celebration of the discovery of the so-called "Gunpowder Plot" to assassinate King James I of England in 1605. People all over the country will attend firework displays or have private bonfires in their gardens with lots of rockets, sparklers and mulled wine to keep warm.


The man charged with blowing up the Houses of Parliament in London, Guy (aka Guido) Fawkes, a Catholic soldier-of-fortune from York, was arrested on November 5th, and tortured in the Tower. He was subsequently taken after a perfunctory trial to the Old Palace Yard at Westminster on 31 January 1606 with his fellow conspirators to be hung, drawn and quartered.

Fawkes managed to escape the worst of his fate by jumping from the scaffold thereby breaking his neck and killing himself. The rest of the grisly punishment was nonetheless performed on his corpse. His entrails were ripped out, his genitals cut off and burnt and his body chopped into pieces.

Fireworks displays in the south west of England celebrating this successful interdiction of 17th century religious terrorism include:

Bath

Thursday 4th November
Bath Rec Fireworks Display

Saturday 6th November
University of Bath Fireworks Display

Bristol

Sunday 7th November

Bradley Stoke Town Council free public fireworks display at the Jubilee Centre, Savages Wood Road, Bradley Stoke BS32 8HL
Gates open 4:30pm; Food from 4:45pm; Display starts 6pm; no alcohol or sparklers

Friday 5th November
Dowend Fireworks Show
King George V Playing Fields
Downend
Bristol
Gates open at 6pm

Exeter

Friday November 5th
Westpoint Arena
5.30 gates open
6.00 Heart roadshow & entertainment
7.30 Firework display

Plymouth

Friday November 5th
6.30 pm onwards
Plymouth Hoe and Plymouth Sound
Madeira Rd Plymouth

November 5 also sees the annual Ottery St Mary tar barreling, when the local pubs sponsor a tar-soaked wooden barrel, which is then set alight and carried through the streets by men, women and even children.

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