Guy Fawkes is known in Britain as ‘the only man who ever entered parliament with honest intentions’ i.e. he was caught in a tunnel beneath the House of Commons with enough explosives to blow the whole corrupt bunch of lords and politicians sky-high.
Of course, Guy Fawkes and the other conspirators then faced the medieval process of law which involved being tortured on the rack and having thumb screws applied until all the rebels were in custody – then they were publicly executed. History declines to mention whether they were afforded a fair trial.
So now to celebrate either the salvation of parliament or the noble effort to destroy it, depending on your politics, Britons get together to let off enormous amounts of fireworks and burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes on a bonfire. It happens all over the country but is especially an event in Guy Fawkes’ home town of Lewes, near Brighton in East Sussex.
The fireworks display put on by the council is as good as you’ll see anywhere and the whole town takes on an anarchic, smoke-filled atmosphere for the night. Watch out for impromptu release of fireworks from youths with rockets beneath their jackets.
A great night to get stoned and imagine what a revolution must feel like.