Guy Fawkes

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  • The Battersea Park fireworks over the Albert Bridge in London. (Photo: Tim Ireland, PA Wire)

    People watch a traditional pre-12th bonfire in Glenarm, Co. Antrim. (Photo: Paul Faith, PA Wire)

    People enjoying sparklers in the run up to November 5th. (Photo: Martin Stephens, PA Wire)

  • Guy Fawkes
    02.11.2013 15:24


    Now that Halloween with all its ghosts and ghouls has swiftly been pushed into the past, for this year anyway, it will soon be the turn of what is nowadays widely and affectionately known as Bonfire Night.  Will we see our bonfires put out by rain, our fireworks obscured by cloudy skies, or will our sparklers keep their sparkle?

    Back in 1605 on the 5th November, this night, however, was definitely not seen initially as a celebratory night. Most of us know the story of Guy Fawkes; he was a member of the English Catholic Gunpowder Plot who attempted to blow up the House of Lords with explosives in order assassinate King James I and replace him with a Catholic head of state. Due to the failed attempts of Fawkes’ actions he was arrested and the night eventually turned into a celebrated one as people were allowed to light bonfires across London. Some months later there was then the introduction of the Observance of the 5th of November Act, which enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.

    The night has been remembered for hundreds of years and has taken on a few different names, such as, Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night, Fireworks Night. Consequently the detailed facts and subsequent events that brought us the Guy Fawkes story may have gradually been lost or forgotten over the years, however the tradition stays very much alive to this day as many countries continue to commemorate this night by lighting bonfires and putting on firework displays.

    What will the weather hold for us this Bonfire Night?

    We generally associate Bonfire Night with wearing woolly hats, scarves and gloves while standing around as close as we can get to a bonfire to keep warm. It looks like it will be the same story for parts of the country this year. The western side of the UK will need to battle through with blustery showers, some of these heavy. It is going to feel rather chilly too in the brisk westerly wind. Across the central and eastern side of England, Scotland and Wales look to see the best of the weather with clear spells, plenty of dry conditions and just the odd isolated shower about. It is expected to be relatively mild for southern counties with lows of around 8 to 10C, however turning colder the further north you go with lows of 3 or 4C across northeast Scotland.  So for many areas it looks like your sparklers should keep their sparkle after all and let you enjoy the evening festivities.

    By: Alexi Boothman