Why Do We Celebrate Bonfire Night?

Bonfire Night is celebrated each year on 5th November. People across Britain enjoy the event by lighting bonfire and fireworks, while others decide to burn other items such as trash.   

Given the popularity of the night, you have probably celebrated it many times since you were a kid. But do you know why people across Britain enjoy the night?

It is no secret that many people do not know the story behind the night. If you belong to the group, this article will help you understand its history and why it is celebrated each year.  

The History of Bonfire Night

For you to understand why we celebrate Bonfire Night, then you should know the history. The night dates back to 1605 to the Gunpowder Plot. That year, a group of Catholic extremists decided to take action against the Monarch in protest against the persecution of the Catholic church.

Under the rule of King James 1, the Catholic religion came under attack. That was because the king was in favor of protestants. A group of catholic men decided to retaliate by blowing up the Houses of parliament.  

The weapon to be used for the attack were barrels of gunpowder placed under the building. They were to be ignited once the king and other officials were in parliament.   

The attack was scheduled for 5th November in 1605. The conspirators hoped to kill the king in the process and other prominent figures in the building responsible for persecuting the Catholic church.

The Failed Attack

The planned attack did no go through as expected because law officers discovered the plot before Guy Fawkes could ignite the gunpowder. 

It is claimed that the failure of the Gunpowder Plot was due to disagreement between the conspirators. Some became uncomfortable with the plan due to the damage it would have caused, and one of them warned the authority by sending an anonymous letter. 

That night, those loyal to the King celebrated the failed plan and his safety by lighting bonfires and lighting fireworks. From that day, it became a regular event that has been passed down the generations.    

Why the Night is Still Celebrated Today

Bonfire Night is celebrated as a remembrance of the failed attempt by Catholic extremists to kill the king and other government officials in 1605. The night also acts as a reminder of the danger faced by leaders.   

You should note that Bonfire Night is not an official public holiday. It is more of a tradition celebrated by protestants more than Catholics whose followers were responsible for the plot. 

To Sum Up

In summary, Bonfire Night is celebrated as a reminder of the failed Gunpowder Plot by Catholic extremists in 1605. The criminals intended to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 5th November to kill the king and other government officials responsible for persecuting Catholics.

Therefore, the next time you light up those fireworks to celebrate Bonfire Night, remember you are celebrating the safety of King James 1, who was the main target that day.  

group of people watching fireworks display