Guy Fawkes Night Date in the current year: November 5, 2016

Guy Fawkes Night Guy Fawkes Night is observed in Great Britain every year on November 5. This commemoration (also known as Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night) celebrates the arrest of Guy Fawkes, a member of the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

In 1605, a group of provincial English Catholics decided to blow up the House of Lords and assassinate the Protestant King James I of England and IV of Scotland. However, the plot was anonymously revealed to a member of the House of Lords. On November 5, Guy Fawkes was discovered guarding explosives placed beneath the House of Lords and arrested.

The citizens celebrated the survival of the king by lighting bonfires. In 1606, the English Parliament passed the Observance of 5th November Act, enforcing a public day of thanksgiving for the failure of the Gunpowder Plot. This law was repealed in 1859.

However, people continued to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night informally. For some time, it became a focus for anti-Catholic sentiment, but this tendency gradually toned down. Today, Guy Fawkes Night has almost lost its original focus.

Modern celebrations still include bonfires and fireworks. These celebrations usually have controlled access and paid admission in order to prevent firework-related accidents. Guy Fawkes Night is observed not only in the UK, but in some former British colonies as well, where it was brought by immigrants.

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Guy Fawkes Night, Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night, folk festival, Gunpowder Plot