Friday, November 19, 2010

Guy Fawkes Night

We are a bit behind on our bear with us as we catch up.

A few weeks ago with celebrated English-style, Guy Fawkes Night. In order to have a proper celebration, I had to have a history lesson on just exactly what we were celebrating. November 5th marks the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, a conspiracy to blow up the English Parliament and King James I in 1605. Guy Fawkes was caught guarding a hoard of explosives beneath the House of Lords and was arrested. Disaster diverted! Remember, Remember the 5th of November! It struck us as odd that they name the holiday after the villain...after all, Texans do not celebrate Santa Anna day on March 2nd.

There are celebrations held all over town and hosted by a variety of organizations, so we decided to attend the one closest to us. We bundled up and walked about a mile to a great park that we've passed through before. As we got closer, the crowds got bigger and bigger, and the line got longer and longer! There were tons of people standing outside the gate so they could watch the festivities without paying the fee to enter the park. Being the savvy (i.e. cheap) people that we are, we decided to join them for a free fireworks show. The festival inside the fence looked like the midway of a fair. There were food booths, rides, music and people galore. We were quite surprised how big the fireworks were, they were beautiful!
The long line to get in the park
I guess they are re-creating what might have happened if they had not caught Guy Fawkes
After the fireworks came to an end, we noticed that the gate was open and they were no longer charging a fee for entrance. After a little encouragement from Jared, we decided to check out the activities and I'm so glad we did! We had heard that a bonfire was a tradition on Guy Fawkes Night but we didn't see a pile of wood, so we assumed that our venue didn't have one. Just as we were about to leave...we saw the Wicker Man go up in flames on the very far side of the park.
Well, it looked like a Wicker Man before they torched it
The Wicker Man is a burning effigy of Guy Fawkes. This was a bit disturbing to me, but then again, I'm not English. After the Wicker Man burned for a while, the big pile of pallets behind him eventually caught fire and we got to see the bonfire we had hoped for.
Jared's family has a certain affinity for burning piles of wood, so he was instantly mesmerized by the flames
This is my "I have no idea what is going on" pose
As we watched it burn, we feasted on pizza and toffee apples. For clarification, toffee apples are not to be confused with caramel apples. If you are not careful, toffee apples WILL break your teeth! I have a recent history of dental accidents (and neither Dr. Hinkle nor Dr. Street are in England), so I waited to eat mine at home where I could cut it with a knife.

We had a great night and have concluded that Guy Fawkes Night is a blend of a Texas fair, the 4th of July and Aggie Bonfire! All in all we felt right at home....except we nearly froze!

1 comment:

  1. Thw wicker man goes way further back than "guy fawkes". He is used every year as a scapegoat for neo-paganism !