Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Remember, remember, the 5th of November

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-11-05

While the marketing push for celebration of Halloween annoys me, I think we should resurrect a celebration that has fallen into disuse: Guy Fawkes Night, a.k.a Bonfire Night, a.k.a. Cracker Night.

The burning of the effigy of a religiously motivated terrorist on a bonfire, and celebration of his lack of success has increased relevance to the modern world, reminds us of the dangers of religious suppression and extremism alike, and the ultimate futility of destructive radicalism.

While the use of fireworks is a safety issue, and the once-common stunt of blowing up letterboxes is simply vandalism, any damage is mild compared to the results of terrorism.  If responsible adults supervise things, and only bring out the fireworks on the night, there is little, if any, risk of significant injury.

When I was a kid, quite a few families would gather in the disused paddock behind one of our houses (it was the main celebration of the year with neighbours – unlike Christmas, etc, which were spent with family further afield), have a decent bonfire going, adults would look after the larger fireworks (e.g. the long strings of crackers, the fountains and the Katherine wheels, while us littlies would light the occasional skyrocket and wave sparklers around.

The foil-wrapped spuds cooked in the bonnie were darn good too.

And rather than worry about food allergies (and paranoia about adulteration) of lollies given to kids "trick or treating", a "Penny for the Guy" is a lot safer – and the kids will spend the coins on lollies they can eat.

Remember, remember
The Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.


One Response to “Remember, remember, the 5th of November”

  1. Raf said

    I remember hot chocolate and donuts when i were young. But not much joy in NZ here when its still light at 8.30pm. Bit of a relief though as people have been hurt at 2 public demonstrations where dodgy fireworks have ended up going down into the crowd. I think I’ll light a candle instead and think back 400 years.

    I did my 5th November blog a week ago :-)

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