Guy Fawkes Day is an annual event in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. This occasion falls on the 5th of November. It is also called Bonfire Day, Firework Night, and Guy Fawkes Night. Campervan hire in New Zealand will help you to see this event take place. If you’re wanting to know a little more about Guy Fawkes, and its history, read our guide below.
Who was Guy Fawkes?
This country-wide holiday is named after Guy Fawkes, but who was he? Guy was a member of the Gunpowder Plot, which was also known as Gunpowder Treason Plot and Jesuit Treason in earlier years. Regardless of its name, this group had one objective: to assassinate the current king, King James I. It was Guy who guarded the explosives plotters placed under the House of Lords. He was chosen to guard the explosives due to his military experience. He gained this professional training during his time fighting in the Spanish Netherlands.
What is the history behind Guy Fawkes Day?
This holiday dates back hundreds of years, ever since November 5, 1605 to be exact. The events surrounding its namesake transpired at the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament. That day, it was Guy Fawkes who stood between explosives meant for the king and royal guards. Just days before the explosives were to go off, Lord William Parker received an anonymous letter that warned him to not go to Parliament on November 5th. He immediately informed the king of this letter. Despite the Gunpowder Plotter’s attempts, Guy was arrested and the assassination attempt failed. Upon hearing that their king was still alive after an attempt was made on his life, citizens in London lit bonfires to celebrate their king’s safety. It was not until later on that the people decided to dedicate the day as a time of thanksgiving.
How is it celebrated?
As you may have guessed, this holiday is celebrated through having bonfires and lighting fireworks. Interestingly enough, New Zealanders and others within the United Kingdom burn effigies of Guy Fawkes in these bonfires. Instead of a day in celebration of this man, it is a way to continually punish him for what he did against the crown. It is not necessarily a happy holiday for Guy Fawkes, but it is for those who supported the crown.