Every 5th of November tonnes
of fireworks are set off in the UK. The tradition arose because
nearly 400 years ago Guy Fawkes and others tried to explode
barrels of gunpowder under the House of Commons in the Palace
of Westminster where Members of Parliament (MPs) meet.
Their aim was to kill
King James I and destroy Parliament. After a tip off, King
James ordered the cellar to be searched. Guy Fawkes was found
laying fuses to gunpowder barrels. He was arrested and taken
to the Tower of London, where he was tortured.
gunpowder conspirators of 1605
Reproduced with kind permission of akg-images.
On 30th January 1606 Guy Fawkes and the others
were beheaded for treason, which means ‘crime against the
country’. When the public heard that the King and Parliament
had been threatened but were safe, bonfires were lit in celebration.
When a new session of parliament starts, the cellar is searched
- this tradition continues today. Our celebration of Guy Fawkes’s
arrest lights the skies on 5th November.