Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night, sometimes called Bonfire Night, is the most incendiary holiday on the British calendar. Cities and towns all over England have bonfire parties and set off fireworks to celebrate the story of Guy Fawkes, who tried and failed to blow up the British Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605.
Last year, about 60,000 people flooded the narrow, cobblestone streets to watch the procession. As in many places around the country, Guy Fawkes Night can get out of hand and take on an air of real menace. Town officials are refusing to speak to the local press so as to minimize publicity.
In 1605, Guy Fawkes and his Roman Catholic conspirators plotted to blow up the king and his supporters in Parliament, who refused to grant religious tolerance to Catholics. It occurred in Lewes, a town of more than 16,000 and about 50 miles south of London.The evening before the attack, Guy Fawkes was taken into custody in the cellar where his explosives were held, and the attempt was foiled. He was executed for the crime.