It’s bonfire night! Or more accurately it’s the night for big huge fireworks displays. Yay! I LOVE fireworks!
In Britain the big fireworks displays happen not in July (obviously) but on November 5, for Guy Fawkes Night. I haven’t actually heard it called that by anyone though, it’s usually just called Bonfire Night. Guy Fawkes was a guy who tried to blow up the parliament back in 1605. He failed (again, obviously) and was eventually tortured and sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered. Apparently he decided he didn’t particularly WANT to be drawn and quartered (remember that scene in Braveheart? YEAH. I’m totally with Guy on that one). When his turn to be executed came around he took his chance to jump from the gallows, breaking his neck and thus avoiding the whole ‘getting his innards ripped out and burnt in front of him’ thing, which I wholeheartedly agree with.
As an aside, I’ve decided that if ever get stuck back in time through a time machine malfunction or a faulty set of standing stones, being drawn and quartered is my BIGGEST FEAR. You know, other than being accused of witchcraft and burnt at the stake. Which is also a quite serious fear of mine. Is it weird that I’ve actually considered this as a possibility? I can’t just enjoy a book or movie about history or time travel without it engendering a pretty healthy fear of torture and agonizing death.
In celebration of the fact that the king and parliament wasn’t burnt to a crisp, we set off big fires! I think originally they did light bonfires, but now it’s just fireworks. I’ve always been a big fan of fireworks. I think that’s mainly because in Oregon anything that goes more than 2-3 feet off the ground is illegal. So big, state-sponsored fireworks displays are VERY exciting just because they’re more than a charcoal snake or a whistling pete. We’re off to the top of the local park where you get a great view of the city and can see the city fireworks display, without getting caught in the mass congestion of people.