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Saturday, 5 November 2016

remember, remember the fifth of november

Guy Fawkes night, 5th November - a night for big bonfires, fireworks. Celebrated in Britain and I guess in the rest of the Commonwealth, certainly in New Zealand,

commemorates the failed plot of Guy Fawkes to blow up the houses of Parliament in 1605.  There were 13 conspirators but he was the one caught sneaking into the cellar to light the explosives.

He was sentenced to be hung drawn and quartered but leapt to his death to avoid that horror.

The Houses of Parliament are still searched once a year to make sure no one is hiding underneath with explosives although the actual cellar where Guy Fawkes was caught no longer exists.

When I was a kid we made  gigantic bonfires in our back yard, made a 'guy', (effigy of Guy Fawkes) to burn on the fire,  let off crackers and had a party with our friends.  Everyone else in the nieghbourhood was doing the same thing and it was a thrill to watch all these bonfires with flames leaping into the sky.  We threw fire crackers and my older, braver brothers I'm sure threw them on the fire to scare the wits out of us. Oh and sparklers held in hand. How brave we felt. Catherine wheels which whizzed along the ground.





Later on as teenagers, girl guides and boy scouts we organized bonfires with a sausage sizzle, a bbqed sausage on a slice of bread with a squirt of tomato sauce. Blackened sausages which burnt your mouth, the messiest, most heavenly grub a child could eat.

I haven't celebrated Guy Fawkes since I left NZ in 1976. It is one tradition I did not carry on with my children here in Greece.  The first years we lived in the city and bonfires were not possible then when we moved to Crete and had a backyard I was too immersed in Greek tradition.  Next Year with the grandchildren?  It would be fun, though I think we'd have to forego the fire crackers. They would scare the hell out of the goats.


-     How many safety inspectors does it take to light the bonfire? 
Four. One to light the match and three to hold the fire extinguisher.


-    How many civil servants does it take to set fire to Guy Fawkes? Twenty three.
One to strike the match and twenty two to fill in the paper work.

-    How many Mafia hitmen does it take to light the bonfire?
Three. One to set fire to the effigy, one to watch his back, and one to shoot any witnesses.

12 comments:

  1. Those jokes gave me a bit of a chuckle 😉. I remember the Guy Fawkes nights of my childhood in the 50s and 60s. Our neighbours would have a huge bonfire but my parents just let off a few crackers and dad would nail a Catherine wheel firework to a tree and light it. It would spin and throw out sparks...I loved it! The richer families would have 'Rockets' that shot into the sky. Fireworks were banned for public sale/use in my state (Qld) by the time my children came along in the 1980s...

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    1. I had forgotten all about Catherine wheels and I think we had rockets as well. Thanks for more memories. I remember the whizzing sounds of the c wheels

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  2. Our fire didn't get lit; it was raining and far too wet. We'll do it next week.

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    1. Bonfires are fun, especially at night.

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  3. No bonfires in Ireland either. You forget the community feeling you get with bonfires. Especially really well organized one's with good bonfire food and drink and a great fireworks display.

    Great jokes!

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    1. I had almost forgotten about guy Fawkes over the years but for some reason it came to mind this year and I realised what a great time we had as kids. I think community bonfires are the thing nowadays....with a fire engine nearby. As you say a great way to get the community together.

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  4. We stayed in last night, scoffed fish and chips and turned the tv up real loud. Maybe next year if we are moved and have enough land we will have a bonfire. No fireworks as the dog might not like them, although he is not worried by the noise of the pheasant shoots behind our house...? Maybe he will be ok. Never thought of people outside of Britain celebrating it. Rather closed minded of me. But it makes sense. My friend in montserrat doesnt celebrate it. Do they celebrate in Australia? It is all really intriguing what other people celebrate that we do. Do they celebrate St Stephens day/boxing day in NZ? It is a bank holiday here... I am loving how the internet is connecting us all and I feel I am learning quite a lot! Thanks for this post.

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  5. I think NZ and Australia still have all the English hols plus a few of their own...boxing day, queens birthday...when I was young we had to stand up for god save the queen before a movie, that's how British we were/are.

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  6. We used to celebrate bone fire night. We were never taught what it really was and it has since died away.
    With the ban on fireworks it died a natural death.
    Also. Usually we are into hot weather now and it was a really bushfire hazard
    Oh yeah. We also live in a nanny state. But that's another issue all together

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    1. Of course you would have a fire ban. I'm sure fireworks must be banned in NZ but they do seem to have community bonfires. we had big celebrations as kids

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  7. haha Linda, love the jokes! I don't mind the fireworks, but our dog is not fond. I feel sorry for the wild animals and also the hedgehogs which have a habit of crawling into the log piles and then end up roasted. Have a great evening! xoxo

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    1. We have fire crackers here at Easter and the dogs go mad. So do we. I like a firework display in the sky but not the noise, especially when theyre thrown close by.

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