PEARTREE LIFE: Experiencing Languages

Remember, remember the 5th of November and don't miss bonfire night

Every night of the 5th of November, an event takes place in the UK, it’s bonfire night! This tradition is more than four centuries old, and it’s an occasion to enjoy the night with food, bonfires and firework displays to remember a failed treason plot.

This feast is not only an excuse for a celebration, it is also a wake-up call which can be summed up into one question: “what would have happened if the plot had been successful?”. History and probably culture wouldn’t be as we know them.

So, what happened on this date? 

During Elizabeth I’s reign (1533-1603), Catholics were brutally persecuted. When a new king took over, James I, people hoped the persecution would be over so they could finally live in peace. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. A group of Catholics tried to resist and had a simple idea: violence would be the answer, and, if they killed the King and the Members of Parliament, there would be a new ruler who might treat their religion differently. That’s why they deposited thirty-six barrels of gunpowder beneath the House of Lords and planned to blow it all up. On the previous night, however, an anonymous letter was sent and the plot was discovered. Guy Fawkes, a member of the activists was arrested as he guarding the barrels. As he wasn’t alone, he was tortured to give the names of the other conspirators but refused to do so. Eventually the names of the other people who took part in this plot were found out and they were arrested, judged and condemned to death.

The celebration of the thwarted attack started right after, when people would burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes on their bonfires. Later, during the 19th century, the fireworks were added, and this night became the one as we know it.

This tradition expanded to other countries, members of the Commonwealth, such as: South Africa and Canada.

Be careful not to get too close to the bonfire (as you might get burnt)!

So, take care and enjoy the evening! 
To learn more about the plot and its conspirators:
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About Peartree Languages

Peartree Languages is a language school located in Cardiff.


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