Friday, November 14, 2008

Guy Fawkes Party (Bonfire Night)

Well, it wasn't really Bonfire Night. That's the 5th of November. We remember, remember. But on last Saturday, we attended a party over at Mark & Donna's -- one they throw every year as a quasi-Guy Fawkes night party. Guy Fawkes was this guy:

He and some other conspirators tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament (in England) in 1605 or thereabouts. The plot was foiled, however, and Guy was executed in the most hideous manner, as was about everyone who ever acknowledged that they knew him. He has his own poem that goes like this:

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

So now, every year since 1605, on every 5th of November or there-abouts, Brits the world over throw a bonfire night party, and the little kids build up a "Guy" out of old clothes and straw, and throw the "Guy" on the bonfire. Then they shoot off fireworks and eat jacket potatoes (baked potatoes). And probably drink some beer.

In Oklahoma, a few Brits gather at the home of Mark & Donna, because they throw a modified version of this tradition. Mark is a Brit from Yorkshire. Donna is an Okie like me. It is another one of those mixed marriages.

Here's Donna gathering the kids to tell the story of Guy Fawkes and she let's each of the kids build their own "Guy" using wooden dowels and old Barbie & Ken clothes she gets off of E-bay each year.
Then she starts in on telling the story while the kids are building and dressing their "Guy".
She gets a little animated explaining to the kiddos how Guy was stabbed in the gut.

And here's exactly how you show the kids what happens when someone is drawn and quartered.

And here's Joni. She's married to Sid, who is another of the Okie Brits. Or is it British Okies. They also have a mixed marriage. Anyway, Joni and I decided to participate this year and these are our "Guys". Hers is the one in the spiffy British-style military uniform! She probably wrestled that away from one of the kids.
Then all of the "Guys" get thrown on the traditional bonfire, or in this case, the bonfire known as Donna's fireplace.

Once the kids have burned the toys they just made and heard the detailed story of the horrid death of Guy Fawkes, then the adults go out on the driveway and smoke cigarettes. And probably drink some beer. Don't ask me what this one guy was doing. He was a new Brit this year and we'd never met him before. He's from Leicester and plays golf, that's all we know.


Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Nuff said!!

TROLL said...


Janet said...

I'm glad to hear our old traditions have found a new home.

They didn't mess around with traitors in those days. And Fawkes wasn't the only conspirator, there were 12 others who suffered the same fate.