Monday, November 05, 2018

Remember, Remember

Remember, remember the fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot
I know of no reason why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Back when I was a student in London, fresh off the boat from America, I had no idea who Guy Fawkes was or why the Fifth of November was such a big deal.

Turns out that Halloween is all but unknown in England, being an "American thing" but Guy Fawkes day is a big deal and has been celebrated for hundreds of years.

I first became aware of Guy Fawkes day around the end of October when I started seeing school kids on street corners with a dummy of some sort, begging "A penny for the guy."  I donated a few pennies but didn't know why.

Well, the "guy" was Guy Fawkes, the ringleader of a plot to blow up Parliament in 1605.  The plotters were caught and the scheme was thwarted.  The plotters were "dealt with" as can only be imagined given the times, but the audacity of the effort lived on.

Penny for the Guy became an annual fundraising effort for charity and an excuse to have parties and fireworks.

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