What is Bonfire Night?

Bonfire Night is celebrated every year in the UK on 5 November. Many towns put on firework displays and light bonfires (big outdoor fires). Some people have firework parties in their gardens and light sparklers!  

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Have you ever been to a Bonfire Night? It’s lots of fun but it’s important for everyone to be careful with the fires.


Why do people celebrate Bonfire Night?

Bonfire Night is celebrated because hundreds of years ago, in 1605, a man called Guy Fawkes wanted to kill King James I!

The plan was to set fire to barrels of gunpowder which were secretly put in the basement of the houses of parliament, that’s where the king was.

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Robert Catesby was the man in charge of the plan and 13 other people were involved. Guy Fawke’s job was to guard the 36 barrels of gunpowder and set light to them at the right moment. 

Before he got the chance to, he was arrested in the basement on 5 November and taken to the Tower of London (a prison). 

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Today people celebrate Bonfire Night to remember how the plan to kill the king failed. 


Why did Guy Fawkes want to kill the king?

Guy Fawkes and other people wanted to kill the king because they were Catholic and the king was Protestant. Catholic people didn’t like how they were being treated and didn’t want a king who was going to punish them for their religious beliefs.


Did you know?

  • When Guy Fawkes was arrested, he pretended his name was John Johnson.
  • The name of the pub where Guy Fawkes and his friends met to talk about their plan to kill the King is called the Duck and Drake.