Guy Fawkes Day, also known as Bonfire night in the United Kingdom, commemorates the day in 1605 when 13 young Catholic conspirators planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill the then king, James I who had reportedly been less tolerant of the Catholic church.
One of the 13 men was Guy Fawkes, who has, untill now retained the dreaded position of 'Britain's most notorious traitor'. The day is therefore, named after him.
Here are 10 most amazing and interesting facts about Guy Fawkes Night including its origin and the present day scenario:
1. On 5 November every year, the effigy of Guy Fawkes is still burned on bonfires across England because of his part in the failed 'Gunpowder Plot' of 1605. Fawkes didn't devise or lead the plot to assassinate James I but he is still singled out as the great British villain in history even after 400 years.
2. In order to carry out their plan, which aimed to kill the king and restore the Protestant England to Catholics, the conspirators got hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder – and stored them in a cellar, just under the House of Lords.
3. Fawkes posed as a servant called John Johnson, and began sourcing gunpowder. The plotters are said to have rented a cellar under the House of Lords and packed it with enough explosive to kill the king and the most powerful men in the land.
4. As the group worked on the plot, however, it became clear that many innocent people would die and some plotters started having second thoughts. One of the group members sent an anonymous letter warning his friend, Lord Monteagle, to stay away from the Parliament on 5 November.
5. Unfortunately for the plotters, their plan was foiled in the eleventh hour when the warning letter reached the King and his forces made plans to stop the conspirators.
6. Guy Fawkes was in the cellar of the parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities stormed it in the early hours of 5 November. He was caught, tortured and ultimately executed.
7. To remember the day a famous quote is cited repeatedly in the literature to talk about the famous Gunpowder Plot: "Remember, remember, the 5th of November; Gunpowder, treason and plot; I see no reason why gunpowder, treason; should ever be forgot."
8. As the custom dictates the bonfire nights will see the spread of bonfires lit throughout the capital and the whole of country. Many of the officially organised community bonfires will also feature fireworks displays, fairground rides and various other distractions and entertainment.
9. On the darker side, the government-bashing internet activist movement called 'Anonymous' started taking to streets worldwide since last year with their 'Million Mask March' protesting against the government on Guy Fawkes day. This year too they will hold rallies in 463 cities in the world.
10. The Guy Fawkes mask, which is a stylised depiction of Guy Fawkes is famous during the bonfire night observations. But the mask has become the face of the 'Anonymous' group that has gained popularity lately in their vigilante style of protests against government systems.