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Was Guy Fawkes' night once compulsory in England?

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758458.  Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:44 am Reply with quote

I was born in Glasgow and live here now, and I concur with your analysis.

758477.  Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:05 pm Reply with quote

I'm in Liverpool and have never been aware of any sectarian undercurrent around Guy Fawkes night, and it's certainly WIDELY celebrated (for about a month either side!!!). My partner's experience is that some isolated teachers promoted Guy Fawkes as a hero, but this wasn't an official stance in his education. He and his friends celebrated Guy Fawkes Night.

Last edited by Fleabag on Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:25 pm; edited 1 time in total

758564.  Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:09 pm Reply with quote

Welcome to QI Forum Fleabag. I think that in the distant past there were sectarian overtones to November 5th but it is now a wholly secular event possibly being replaced in the future by Halloween.

758571.  Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:53 pm Reply with quote

I think that there have been more deaths and serious injuries caused by celebrating the death of a terrorist then there have been directly caused by all terrorist action in Britain.

So, if you budding terrorists want to maim and kill us then fail and get caught, we will do the rest for you, sorry, we dont offer martyrdom any longer.

758597.  Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:41 pm Reply with quote

Efros wrote:
The streets around where I lived were like Beirut at times, rockets flying along the roads, bangers in closes, the sound is amplified by the close giving a deep boom. Not a time to be nervous.

That sounds like a very apt time to be nervous, in fact.


758599.  Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:02 am Reply with quote

As a bit of an aside

Lewes (in Sussex) is the uncrowned Nov 5th capital of the UK. They have several bonfire societies (7 the last time I counted) who's sole purpose is to organise Nov 5th parties and parades.

As you'd expect, this activity attracts a fair amount of interest and fairly large crowds on the Big Day.

This year, for reasons that remain opaque, the Powers That Be decided to discourage visitors to Lewes. Public Transport was severely curtailed, parking restrictions were such that finding a legal place to park within an 8 mile radius was more problematic than solving the Krypton Factor, and the official warning was that "this is for Lewes - you outsiders keep out".

In light of this I understand that the Dover-Calais ferry is now only accepting bookings from residents of Dover (to discourage any problems arising from outsiders heading to the port); and in future elections to Westminster will only be permitted to those who are within earshot of the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Janet H
758650.  Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:51 am Reply with quote

Yes Bob, I noticed the 'no outsiders' too.

Anybody know who the efigy of the year was|?

758685.  Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:43 am Reply with quote

Janet H wrote:
Anybody know who the efigy of the year was|?

Looks like it was our glorious leaders

758688.  Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:48 am Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
Welcome to QI Forum Fleabag. I think that in the distant past there were sectarian overtones to November 5th but it is now a wholly secular event possibly being replaced in the future by Halloween.

Aha, but to an extent it may have replaced part of Halloween celebrations anyway. It always surprises me that people think that it is a new thing to celebrate Halloween, as both my parents (early 60s/late 50s) have stories of dressing up and guising house to house when they were children, and making lanterns out of neeps (swedes). My Dad also remembers going to bonfires and having sparklers on Halloween. Novemeber 5th was a bit of a non-event from their experience.

758768.  Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:35 pm Reply with quote

As a child for me (1970s), Haloween was mainly bob apple and lanterns. We hadn't heard of trick or treat. My friend and I introduced the practice in Southport in about 1981...we had to explain the concept to everyone we approached...I'm pretty sure it became recognised in Britain as a result of the ET film.

Guy Fawkes night was always pretty much as it is now, except back then people couldn't/wouldn't pay for armfuls of 100 rockets to let off for fun at 3pm every day for 8 weeks!!

758845.  Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:26 pm Reply with quote

Guising was always the pursuit in Scotland, predates trick or treating. Dooking for apples, and treacle dipped pancakes hanging from the ceiling to be eaten whilst your hands were behind your back were the normal party pursuits on a Scottish Halloween in the 60s.

1366856.  Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:17 am Reply with quote

Ask4 wrote:
Only a reading of the Act could kill this one stone dead,

Get your specs on

1373191.  Sat Jan 30, 2021 3:37 pm Reply with quote

5th November is the only entirely C of E religious festival.

1373207.  Sat Jan 30, 2021 5:40 pm Reply with quote

Loads of info on this.
1388468.  Sat Aug 28, 2021 11:48 am Reply with quote

Ask4 wrote:
Newbie post alert. I came across an interesting "fact" about Guy Fawkes' Night recently. Apparently, it was illegal in England, until 1959, not to celebrate the anniversary of Guy Fawkes' arrest. Does anybody out there know whether or not this is true?

Here's another interesting fact:

Q. What was Guy Fawkes's real name?

A. Guido.


His real name was Guy. 'Guido' was merely a nickname he adopted whilst fighting the Spanish in the Eighty Years' War. It was also the name which he signed following his capture and subsequent torture.

It has also been suggested that, although he was quartered he wasn't actually hanged. At least not by the state. He is said to have jumped from the gallows and broke his neck, thereby making his death a suicide.


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