'Remember, remember, the 5th of November' - that's the rhyme I grew up with here in the UK, as we celebrated bonfire night each year. It's also known as Guy Fawkes Night, after the intrepid man, who along with several co-conspirators, tried to blow up James 1 and the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Fawkes was actually caught in the act in the cellar beneath the building, hence his everlasting fame.
Needless to say, the plot failed and all of them were executed. To mark the infamous event, we still celebrate Guy Fawkes night all over Scotland with huge bonfires and fireworks. Many of them are now official displays organised by local councils as that's generally a safer option. But we had great fun as children, when our father set off the fireworks in the back garden. In later years, neigbours and friends often got together to make it a bigger event for all the children. Any large piece of waste ground made a good base for the bonfire.
One of the traditions weeks before the event was when some of the children made a makeshift 'guy' and wheeled it around on a barrow asking for a "penny for the guy". Adults knew this money would go towards the fireworks bought for the big night. The 'guy' itself was then put on top of the bonfire. Food played an important part in the evening's enjoyment. Since November is usually cold, everyone wrapped up in warm hats, scarves and gloves and looked forward to hot food like potatoes, sausages and soup while watching the fireworks. Now, I'll have to find out where the nearest bonfire event is taking place tomorrow evening!