The gunpowder treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
I remembered most of this rhyme from my childhood. Growing up in England, we always looked forward to "Bonfire Night". My understanding is that in recent years, Halloween has stolen a bit of the glory from November 5th, being so close on the calendar.
Guy Fawkes belonged to a group of men who planned to blow up Parliament while it was in session to protest discrimination against the Catholics. He was caught on November 5th, and since 1605, Londoners were encouraged to celebrate the King's escape from assassination by lighting bonfires in the city, and it has been a tradition ever since.
We always got sparklers, and every once in a while, we got a few rockets to launch. But the fire was a must, with the effigy if Guy Fawkes siting on top. Sort of Halloween and Fourth of July celebrations rolled into one.
The movie "V for Vendetta" was based on this piece of history, so when you see it again, you might appreciate the facts it is based on. See the article and the clip here. http://www.syracuse.com/have-you-heard/index.ssf/2009/11/happy_guy_fawkes_day.html
My school friend Ann, from Sheffield, England has been helping me recall these memories. Although I know I have these school pictures somewhere, she was able to find one and send it to me. Can you find the eight or nine year old me?