Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

There seems to be a holiday that year after year goes uncelebrated, even unnoticed. Every 5th of November comes, and here in America, Guy Fawkes Day goes unknown. I recall in high school when some students would spray-paint a giant number five in our school’s parking lot. Despite some people like these, most are not aware of the holiday here in America. It is more widely known and celebrated in England, and rightly so, considering that is where the holiday originated.

V for Vendetta
Photo credit: Kaila Gottlieb

Guy Fawkes Day, also sometimes referred to as Bonfire Night or Firework Night commemorates a vigilante, Guy Fawkes, who attempted to set off bombs in Parliament in order to stop the next king from taking control of England in 1605. Now, this may sound like a terrorist plot, often to which it is referred, but the reasoning behind Guy Fawkes’s intentions was solely to help his fellow citizens escape Parliamentary rule. Under this rule at the time, Catholics felt the burden of oppression when many of the enacted laws outlawed their religion. This conspiracy to overthrow the government gained an astounding number of supporters. Eventually the plot failed, but the attempt is still celebrated today in England and other places in Europe and is commemorated for it efforts to free oppressed citizens.

Guy Fawkes day is even the main plot idea in my all-time favorite movie,
V for Vendetta. I urge all readers to see this movie not only for its historical references, but also because it is an amazing and thought-provoking movie.