FORGET, FORGET THE 5th November – gunpowder, treason and rot

Not so long ago a vocal non-Christian minority in the United Kingdom called for Christmas to be stopped. Already the Christian morning assembly has been dropped in many schools and the traditional Nativity Play is no longer staged where there is a large, multi-ethnic attendance.

All of this is ridiculous kowtowing by the Christian host nation, but as I lay awake on 5th November, I couldn’t help but wonder about the sanity of preserving the traditional British Bonfire Night.

Guy Fawkes Night, or Bonfire Night, the annual celebration held on 5th November in U.K. and many Commonwealth countries, commemorates the failed effort of Guido Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament, an early terrorist attempt on 5th November 1605, when an estimated 82 million fireworks – worth some £250 million to retailers – goes up in smoke. Literally.

As exploding bungers rattled my bedroom windows, I wondered about its effect on our large migrant population who have fled conflict in their homelands. At one point, the noise resembled bomb blasts and any children, old enough to remember warfare in countries such as Somalia, Eritrea and Iraq, must have been utterly terrified.

Of course we must retain our Christian celebrations, but the government should ban this wasteful tradition which also terrifies pets and sees some thousands of people -mainly under-16s – treated for firework injuries. This year some fool also lobbed fireworks into an electrical fuse-box which blacked out 109 homes in rural Berkshire, thank you very much.

Who agrees? Lets hear your comments.

About Travels with My Hat

Australian photojournalist and author. Used London as a base for nearly forty years while freelancing in the Middle East, Arabian peninsular, Africa and South Asia. Have written and illustrated more than a dozen books and travel guides. Operates a well regarded religious images stock photo library: Live in Leura in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
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9 Responses to FORGET, FORGET THE 5th November – gunpowder, treason and rot

  1. Mimi Forsyth says:

    Many will argue to keep fireworks for whatever reason as "cultural"….and as long as Christian celebrations continue, what about all the others?

  2. C.O. says:

    Thank you MImi. Major religious occasions such as Divali are now even staged in Trafalgar Square in central London. Muslims celebrate Eid ul-fitr and Eid ul-adha within their own communities of family and friends. Sikh religious occasions such as Vaisakhi and Khalsa Day are linked to the gurdwaras but others are always welcome to attend. Britain is a hugely tolerant society and people often take advantage of this – hence the vocal minority demanding certain Christian activities be dropped in state schools.

  3. nsiotto says:

    Your notes are for sure rational, but definitely less emotional than mines. Fireworks are a tradition and as such I believe we do not have to ban them. Nevertheless we should enforce stricter rules. You can't ban cars because some don't adhere to safety rules and jeopardize other people's lives. Do you?

  4. Thank you for yr interest. In India,they have sensible rules controlling fireworks on Divali. The Chinese let off crackers for their New Year, but no one explodes the big bungers heard on Bonfire Night. Fireworks yes, but ban the bungers. They are simply a disturbance and cause misery to household pets of which hundreds disappear in terror on this particular evening celebrating a moronic attempt to blow up the seat of British government more than 400 years ago.

  5. Mimi Forsyth says:

    I am so happy to know of the diverse manifestations in Britain….certainly contributing color!Here in Hawai'i, "Little Asia", many manifestations too and far too many fireworks (bad news for birds!), including 'big bungers'. I find myself rejoicing when the perpetrators have 'accidents'. I am so bad! Surely a nice, controlled, professional display of fireworks could suffice?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I agree that there should be one official fireworks display. It is actually sickening to think people spend the amount quoted in the blog when there are so many areas where it would be better used. I am not a spoil sport. It is a rational thought.

  7. don't forget to breathe and enjoy the amazing beautyful Holiday Vacation

  8. As we head towards November 5th, the insane bonfire night, remember the animals…

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