Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Remember, remember, remember, remember...

November is the season for remembering.  In the church year, 1st November is All Saints, a day to celebrate and remember all christian saints over the ages.  Then 2nd November is All Souls, the day to remember loved ones who have died.  On the 11th November, it is Remembrance Day, when those who lost their lives in the two World Wars and subsequent wars are commemorated.

Then of course yesterday the 5th of November we were told to

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

For those who aren't aware, Bonfire Night commemorates the events of 5th of November 1605 when Guy Fawkes' plot to blow up the King and Houses of Parliament was discovered, Londoners were encouraged to celebrate the King's escape from assassination each year afterwards by lighting bonfires in the city.  Each year on 5th November, bonfires are lit and fireworks are set off across England.  Until relatively recently, children used to make a 'Guy' out of old clothes and newspaper and ask for 'penny for the Guy' before the Guy was taken to the nearest bonfire and burned. 

Its one of those rather strange English customs where the original meaning was somewhat dark and grisly and it has now become a celebration with sparklers.  Very few people now will think about a dark time in English history where the burning of catholics was seen as acceptable.

A bonfire is far more our kind of thing than fireworks.  Fireworks are brash, showy and expensive and possibly more use at a celebration such as new year.  You can stare into a bonfire and think and muse and remember....

No comments:

Post a Comment