In 1605, a person named Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the British Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder. He, and his band of fellow conspirators, were caught after one of the group sent a letter to King James of England warning him to stay away from Parliament. Guy Fawkes was imprisoned and eventually put to death for his trouble, although modern British people remember him as “the only man ever to enter Parliament with honest intentions!”
Nowadays, the British mark Guy Fawkes’ Day (or simply Bonfire Night) by building bonfires and letting off fireworks. Traditionally, children made effigies of Fawkes from old clothes stuffed with newspaper, and display their “Guy” in the streets, asking “Penny for the Guy?”, and expecting to receive some money. Guys were then thrown on the bonfire at the height of the celebrations.
Big firework displays are organised in public playing fields and open areas, usually with huge bonfires. The bonfires often take weeks to build, and in small communities and villages everyone will bring some wood to add to the pile.
The events of 1605 are also remembered in a nursery rhyme.
“Remember, remember, the 5th of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
We see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.”
This is the history of Halloween origins, you can answer these questions after watching the slide show and you can also read for further information
- Where does the celebration of Halloween come from?
- The Celts occupied an area of land covering three modern-day countries or regions. What are they?
- Why did the Celts celebrate Samhain on the night of 31 October?
- What did the Celts believe the ghosts of the dead could damage?
- After many changes due to the spread of Christianity, what new celebration was created in 1000 AD?
- What was the night before called and what did this finally become?
- What do children ask for when they travel from house to house?
- What do children say when they arrive at a house?
- What is usually the ’trick’?
- Since when has this tradition been practised in North America?
- What do homeowners who wish to participate usually do to their houses?
- Since when have people in Britain and Ireland practised the tradition of asking for food at Halloween?