History behind the tradition of Bonfire Night

The literal meaning of the “bonfire” is a large open-air fire on which bones are burnt and it is derives from the term “banefyre” from a time when the corpses of witches, heretics and other nonconformists were burned on a pyre instead of being buried in consecrated ground. When we heard the term 'Bonfire Night' then we characterised it with firework and celebration, but do you know how this tradition was started.

The history bonfire night is part of a 400 year old tradition that began in Great Britain. In Great Britain, 5th November marked as the day of celebration and fireworks because on this day in 1605 AD, the conspiracy to blow the British Parliament was foiled. This day is celebrated as the thanksgiving for the plot's failure.

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History behind the tradition of Bonfire Night

The whole episode of conspiracy was plotted when Protestant King James I came to power and English Catholics hoped that their new kings grant them the freedom to practice their religion but it was not happening. Then they assemble to kill the King and blow the House of Lords.

It was Guy Fawkes who was managed to arrange 36 barrels of gunpowder to be placed under House Lords. But he was caught red-handedly before he could do any damage.

He hanged till death before hanging him, his testicles was cut off. After his death, his dead body was quartered and each part was sent to the four corners of the kingdom as a warning to others against performing this sort of uprising or attack. From that day, Bonfire was started as a national thanksgiving from November 5, 1606 AD.

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How it is celebrated?


In England, people on the Bonfire night throw straw dummies of Guy Fawkes to drive away evil spirits which is something similar to the Indian tradition of ‘Holika Dahan’. The tradition crossed the oceans and established itself in the British colonies during the centuries. But, now Bonfire represents a symbol of happiness and celebration no matter how it was started.

The Bonfire Day or Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated as thanksgiving in the Great Britain and also in a number of the countries that were the colony of British Empire.

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