While America might have used up its stock of fireworks on July 4, tonight is the night for Great Britain to let off a few bangers. It’s Guy Fawkes Night, a long-held tradition of bonfires and loud noises inspired by a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament back in 1605. To outsiders this custom might seem strange — why celebrate a botched terrorist attack by burning effigies of its perpetrator and filling the air with explosions? — but it’s a longstanding tradition that will likely never end.
The whole business is rather macabre; it ends with Fawkes falling from the structure he was meant to be hanged from and breaking his neck. Luckily for Fawkes, this made sure he felt nothing of the fate that was intended for him; being cut into equal quarters and sent to the far reaches of the country as a deterrent for anyone else considering giving this sort of activity a go.
While the first four hundred or so Guy Fawkes Nights didn’t have the advantage of social media, the last few iterations have seen people take full advantage of social networks to share the experience with their friends. As with anything in the digital age, you’re not really doing something until all your pals know about it — here are some of the best tweets about this year’s Guy Fawkes Night/Plot Night/Bonfire Night/whatever else people like to call it.
What’s Guy Fawkes Night Again?
There are plenty of people around the world who don’t quite get what Guy Fawkes Night is, quite understandably so. While many would simply hop over to Wikipedia for a bit more information, if you’re looking to get your knowledge from Twitter, you’re in luck.
— Captain Lawrence (@Hist2day) November 5, 2014
#GuyFawkesNight – a celebration of the last time the British government found Weapons of Mass Destruction.
— Neil Clements Esq. (@sentientboomer) November 5, 2014
An Annual Holiday to Celebrate V For Vendetta?
While you can see why the two are so closely related, Guy Fawkes Night is in real danger of being completely taken over by Alan Moore’s graphic novel V For Vendetta, which was adapted into a movie in 2005. Transposing the gunpowder plot to a dystopian vision of the near future, the film version helped the titular character V become embedded in pop culture — perhaps even more so than Guy Fawkes himself.
Tonight's #Anonymous protest unlikely to resemble final scenes of V For Vendetta. Small crowd, currently receiving health & safety briefing.
— Christian May (@ChristianJMay) November 5, 2014
V for Vendetta is an exaggerated work of fiction and Guy Fawkes was a reactionary who wanted to institute Catholic rule sorry not sorry
— Kinsey ????????☭ (@diamaterialista) November 5, 2014
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
While it might not be as jaunty a song as a Christmas carol or a rendition of Happy Birthday to You, the rhyme associated with Guy Fawkes Night is something of an earworm. It seems that a great many Twitter users can’t help but offer their own twist on it — if they can remember all the words, that is.
Remember, remember the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
Now we have 650 MP's
Led by a spineless clot… x. #GuyFawkesNight.
— Cosmopeleton ???? (@Cosmopeleton) November 5, 2014
Remember remember the 5th if November. Gunpowder treason and plot. – that poet was lazy! Doesn't even rhyme?!
— Ben Hanlin (@benhanlin) November 5, 2014
Remember remember! The fifth of November, Gunpowder treason and plot.
But also remember it's almost December! I really love Christmas a lot
— Ted Kuligowski (@KulStoryBr0) November 5, 2014
— Ryan Bradley (@ryan_bradley91) November 5, 2014
The 5th of November,
Gunpowder, treason, and plot.
And that time you
called your teacher, mum
— Helenope (@HelenMilburn) November 5, 2014
Are you celebrating Guy Fawkes Night tonight? Or are you just sat on the sofa watching V For Vendetta? Either way, let us know in the comments section below, or get in touch on Twitter via @SocialNewsDaily.