A Conversation for Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night

Real Origin of Bonfire Night??

Post 1

Huw B

Various effigies (e.g. Guy Fawkes or the Pope) have been burned at various times but I always believed that the origin of the use of fire at this time goes back much further to pre-Roman times. The fire was not originally used on November the 5th but on Halloween as part of the ceremony relating to the coming of Winter and so forth. In later times the tradition of burning was deliberately switched away from its pagan roots to other uses which is why we have the rather bizarre tradition today of 'worshipping' a random meber of a failed murder conspiracy.
'Diverting' a tradition is much easier than trying to stamp it out.

Real Origin of Bonfire Night??

Post 2


The origin of Bonfire Night on November 5 is related only to the plot itself. The day parliament met in 1605.

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CBsmiley - smiley

Real Origin of Bonfire Night??

Post 3


I totally agree - we should have fires at halloween. And surely the name comes from bone-fire, a hint of pagan rituals.


Post 4


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Real Origin of Bonfire Night??

Post 5


In Guernsey (Channel Islands) the event is known to the locals as "BUDLOE NIGHT". Pronunciation varies from rhyming with "good-low" to "good-how" depending on which end of the Island you come from. Guernsey Norman Patois is a largely oral tradition, but the best written representation is probably "but d'l'aen" - in French "bout de l'an" or "the end of the year".

The pre-christian year end celebrations took place near the christian festival of All Hallows, and the bonfires (origin - "bons feux"?) became christianised too. No more sacrifices! The traditionalists must have been delighted when Mr Fawkes conveniently made his attempt at the beginning of November, giving them an excuse to burn effigies again!

Interestingly, the Island sided with Cromwell during the civil war, except for the stronghold of Castle Cornet, which held out for the King. In Jersey, the opposite happened - the Island was Royalist, with Elizabeth Castle holding out for Cromwell. The Islands are now both staunchly loyal to the crown - not as the Queen, but as the Duke of Normandy. We drink our toasts to Le Duc, not the Queen. I'm not sure which side people here were cheering for in 1605. Remember remember, we conquered you lot in 1066 and Guillaume Le Conquerant's battle emblem appears on the Guernsey flag............

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