If you are living in England, you might be celebrating Guy Fawkes Night/Bonfire Night later today.
Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in the United Kingdom. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London; and months later, the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.
Generally, modern 5 November celebrations are run by local charities and other organisations, with paid admission and controlled access. In 1998 an editorial in the Catholic Herald called for the end of “Bonfire Night”, labelling it “an offensive act”. Author Martin Kettle, writing in The Guardian in 2003, bemoaned an “occasionally nannyish” attitude to fireworks that discourages people from holding firework displays in their back gardens, and an “unduly sensitive attitude” toward the anti-Catholic sentiment once so prominent on Guy Fawkes Night. David Cressy summarised the modern celebration with these words: “The rockets go higher and burn with more colour, but they have less and less to do with memories of the Fifth of November … it might be observed that Guy Fawkes’ Day is finally declining, having lost its connection with politics and religion. But we have heard that many times before.”