Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Guy Fawkes Night

I missed the 4th of July this year. I will miss Thanksgiving. I am missing election day. But part of the consolation of missing all those American trademarks is getting to exchange them for Scottish ones. 
Guy Fawkes Day is the British annual celebration of the halting of a 1605 rebel plot to assassinate King James I by blowing up the House of Lords. The holiday gets its name from Guy Fawkes, one of the orchestrators of the stopped attempt, who was shortly thereafter executed for treason. 

Are you confused about why they would name the celebration after one of the traitors? Because I sure was. Luckily, I’m surrounded by locals so I asked one of them to clarify. After Guy Fawkes was discovered guarding the explosives, Londoners were encouraged to light bonfires around town to mark the deliverance of their king. Even though 13 other conspirators were involved in the "Gunpowder Plot", Fawkes is generally singularly associated with the assassination attempt. You might recognize him from this mask, which is a popular symbol in Britain:
Still today, the most common form of celebrating is through fireworks and bonfires in which the effigy of Guy Fawkes is burned. This signifies the burning of Guy Fawkes as a traitor. Even though he was actually sentenced to hang. I guess it’s supposed to be symbolic. Anyway, let’s not get bogged down in semantics.

The point is, the City of Aberdeen hosted a free firework event at the beach last night so a few of us bundled up, spiked some hot chocolate with Bailey's and headed down.
I wasn’t sure quite what to expect but it was pretty impressive.
The display was choreographed to the music of James Bond, ending to Adele’s single for the new movie “Skyfall”. Here’s a clip:
The music was perfect since James Bond himself is a Scotsman, and the new film delves a bit into his Scottish childhood. I was impressed with both the turnout and the fireworks, especially the gold glittery ones and all that purple and gold. Seriously, who knew the Aberdeen City Council were such Tiger fans? I felt right at home.
Now stop reading my blog and go vote. Unless you aren’t voting for my guy. Then you can stay home and keep reading my blogJ.

1 comment:

  1. Cool hearing about a Scottish holiday! Going to vote...I have a feeling we're rooting for the same team :) Fingers crossed!