Five facts about Bonfire Night


  1. Fireworks can be traced back as far as 7th-century China. The legend goes that a Chinese cook who accidentally spilled saltpeter on a fire and produced a colourful flame.


  1. Guy Fawkes himself wasn’t the main conspirator in the Gunpowder Plot, but he is remembered as he had a vitally important role – lighting the gunpowder beneath the Houses of Parliament.


  1. Fawkes was taken to the king’s bedchamber to explain his reasoning for the plot, where he said the king was a disease and the gunpowder was designed to “blow you Scotch beggars back to your own native mountains!”


  1. Dummies were burned on bonfires long before the Gunpowder Plot, and in the 13th century they were thought to drive away evil spirits.


  1. One of the only places in the UK that refuses to be involved in the traditions of Guy Fawkes Night is his old school in York, St Peters, which refuses to burn the image of a former pupil.

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