Gunpowder, treason and plot: Happy Guy Fawkes Day! The 5th of November celebrates the foiling of the Gunpowder plot in 1605. On November 5th, 1605, Guy Fawkes and a number of other Catholic conspirators tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, England. Fawkes was caught in the cellar with several barrels of gunpowder. The trial that ensued resulted in Fawkes being sentenced to death — hung, drawn, and quartered.

In England the 5th of November is still commemorated each year with fireworks and bonfires culminating with the burning of effigies of Guy Fawkes (the guy). The ‘guys’ are made by children by filling old clothes with crumpled newspapers to look like a man. Traditionally British children would go door-to-door with their ‘guys’ asking for “a penny for the guy”, and use the pennies to buy fireworks.

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,

I see no reason

Why the Gunpowder Treason

Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli’ment.

Three-score barrels of powder below

To prove old England’s overthrow;

By God’s providence he was catch’d
With a dark lantern and burning match.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

[Source: Wikipedia – Guy Fawkes Night]