Tuesday November 5
We are invited to our first ever Bonfire Night. It’s being held at ‘Up The Creek’ hostel… (http://www.upthecreek.ca)…you know, Martin’s place (September 28 Post). He lives on Roberts Creek Rd. too…just up the road from our house
The invitation we received was witty and very informative so we’re just going to reprint it here. This is all Martin and Coulter
The History behind Guy Fawkes night
In 1605, in the old Country, a group of men tried to kill the King.
Do you remember the rhyme?
Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Anyway, there’s this guy called Guy Fawkes. No, really! Some bright spark (hmm!) asked him to help to blow up the Houses of Parliament at Westminster in London, whilst the big guy was inside.
The King at the time was King James I. Some people didn’t like the way he ruled the country. (Nothing changes huh!)
Now, back then people worshiped God in different ways, just as they do today, but with possibly more umphh. Some were Catholics, and some were Protestants. They often didn’t see eye to eye!
King James I was a Protestant and had sent all the Catholic priests out of the country. Probably to France! There were some Catholics who wanted to kill him because of this.
Robert Catesby was the leader of a group of Catholics. He promised Guy Fawkes a bunch of money if he would help them kill the King. Now, Guy Fawkes needed a bunch of money, and he sure knew a thing about gunpowder.
There was a cellar under Parliament. The plotters took barrels of gunpowder into the cellar and hid them under some firewood. Guy Fawkes, not always the smartest, hid in the cellar with the gunpowder. He was ready to blow up Parliament on November 5th.
Somebody sent a letter to Lord Monteagle warning him that something bad was going to happen to the people in Parliament on November 5th. He told the King’s minister, Robert Cecil. On the night before Parliament the King’s men went to search the cellar. They found Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder.
Guy Fawkes was executed. Some of the other plotters were shot, and some were captured and executed.
King James was pleased that the plotters had been captured and killed.
And so, since 1606, people have lit bonfires and fireworks to remember what happened. Some people put a guy on their bonfires, to remember Guy Fawkes.
So, that’s why we celebrate this centuries old English tradition. Oh, and cause we love seeing our friends get together.
What to Expect
Think of England, which on Bonfire night means wind, torrential rain and stormy skies, dress accordingly and then be thankful you live in BC!
At 8.00pm we’ll be letting off some fireworks, and we’ll wrap it all up with smores for the kids and hot mulled wine for the big kids
What To Bring
Your company is most important, but if you want to bring something:
Bring an aerial firework (one large one rather than 20 little ones please), a Guy (a newspaper /straw stuffed effigy made from your old clothes, of Guy Fawkes or anyone else fit for the fire!), a cheap bottle of red for the mulled wine, a beer or a warm thermos, and a sense of humour.
Hope to see you in the garden
Martin & Coulter
This is our first Conspiracy Gathering and just in case we have to run later (cheez it…it’s the feds), we’ve skipped dinner
It’s currently four degrees celcius outside and it has rained most of the day, so we dress warmly, put on our raincoats and head down the road.
It is pitch black out here. There are no streetlights and few cars. There’s also the wildlife…bears are not rare and the other day Wendle and I watched a coyote sashay down Lower Road as if she owned it (and in broad daylight). They are a delight to see but we don’t wish to surprise one in the darkness so we are wearing our headlamps. It might also prevent us from being run over by some errant, nonagenarian
Actually, it’s turned out to be a lovely evening…crisp, cold and clear…the stars are out and shining brightly. Perfect night for a fire. ‘Light ‘er up Guy’
We near Martin’s place. We’re supposed to meet in the garden so we head in what we hope is that direction (it is inky black)…
I see lights ahead, twinkling in the darkness
(“Cross over children. All are welcome. Go into the light”)
Two food tables have been set up. The adult table holds the vegetarian chili, dishes, cutlery, beer and mulled wine
The other table is for kids…hot dogs, chips, Doritos, popcorn.
I take a quick look in at the mulled wine…
…and head over to the kids table for a dawg
Martin piles wood on the fire, building it up into a true blazing bonfire (when do we get to blow something up?)
With everyone assembled, Martin puts the first effigy into the fire. It’s a simple wooden cross…on the top is a board with a face painted on it (is that Guy?)
Martin asks it’s creator, a young boy, who the effigy represents…
“It’s my brother”, says the kid (yikes)
Martin chants some ancient, ritualistic Celtic prayers over the fire…’Dirka Dirka’
One of the two ‘straw man’ effigies sits by the fire, awaiting it’s turn to burn
(is that Guy?)
No, it’s Mr. S.M.A.R.T…Martin and Coulter made him
(well, where the Fawke is Guy?)
Mr. SMART and Coulter
As Meter Man is carried into the flames, everyone cheers (i will assume that the ‘smart meter’ is quite unpopular here)
The paper, paint and straw body quickly torch into a raging inferno
On this cold evening, Meter Man’s body heat is a welcome addition and his decimation ramps up the celebratory mood of the festivities
Ian, the operator of Roberts Creek Health Food Store (http://www.robertscreekhealthfoodstore.com) arrives wearing a mask like this one
(is that Guy?)
Yes. That guy…is Guy Fawkes…Mr. Evildoer himself
A sudden stillness amongst the kids alerts everyone to the fact that something very cool is about to happen
Here’s a link to a short film by Wendle…it’s of a talented lady juggling with flame (cool). While Kim juggles…her amazed son shouts, “I didn’t know you were a fire bender”
(that was awesome! can we blow something up now?)
Yes. It’s time for the fireworks (sweet)
Unbelievably, just as the explosions begin, everyone’s cell phone goes dead (including Wendle’s). No one can take pictures. No problem though…I have faithfully recreated the incendiary display here, from memory (and some borrowed pics), exactly as it appeared to me
The Grand Finale is Awesome!
Wow…that was fantastic
As soon as the bombs stop bursting in air, the mass of children resume their mad scramble across the lawn
“Hey Wendle, my feet are freezing…can we go home now?”
We head back into the darkness…our souls alight, the shadows of multi-coloured pyrotechnics seared onto our retinas and the acrid taste of Antimony, Strontium, Carbon and Sulphur coating our nasal passages (Fawke Yeah)
Thanks Martin and Coulter. That really was a blast…every bit of it (my fave was the fireworks, they were incredible)
‘Long Live Bonfire Night’
Moose and Wendle
We forgot to show you Teddy in his Halloween costume
‘Fireworks’ Photo Credits