10 Interesting Facts about Guy Fawkes Night for Your Kids

10 Interesting Facts about Guy Fawkes Night for Your Kids

Every 5th of November, the UK celebrates Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night. Even though most kids associate fireworks displays and big bonfires with this night, there’s a lot of interesting history behind this day for them to learn. Here’s 10 interesting facts you can teach them about Guy Fawkes Night.

  1. The celebration marks the anniversary of a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605, otherwise known as the Gunpowder plot. The attack was planned by a group of 13 young men, led by Robert Catesby.
  1. Guy Fawkes was born on April 13th 1570 in Stonegate in York. He was an experienced soldier and even though he didn’t fight for his country, he did fight for the Spanish against the Dutch in the Netherlands. This is where he gained experience with explosives and gave himself the nickname Guido.  
  1. The authorities discovered 36 barrels of gunpowder below Westminster Palace on November 5th after being tipped off by an anonymous letter. This is where Guy Fawkes was found guarding the explosives.
  1. The 36 barrels of gunpowder would have completely destroyed the building and caused severe damage to buildings within a one-mile radius of it. Ironically, the cellar where the gunpowder was stored, and the Houses of Parliament were later destroyed in an accidental fire in 1834.
  1. During his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot, Guy Fawkes called himself John Johnson and gave this name when he was arrested.
  1. Shortly after being discovered, Fawkes was taken to the King's bedchamber to explain why he wanted to kill him and blow up Parliament. Fawkes said that he regarded the King as a disease since he had been excommunicated by the Pope.
  1. Under torture, it took four days for Guy Fawkes to admit to his part in the Gunpowder Plot and give names of other people involved in it.
  1. Fawkes and the others involved were tried on the 31st of January 1606 and then hung, drawn and quartered in the Old Palace Yard in Westminster. As he Fawkes awaited his punishment on the gallows, he leapt to his death and actually died from a broken neck. Contrary to popular belief, Fawkes wasn't thrown onto a bonfire.
  1. The Houses of Parliament are still searched once a year to make sure there are no conspirators hiding with explosives
  1. Guy Fawkes has an island named after him. To the north-west of Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands, a collection of two uninhabited, crescent-shaped islands is named Isla Guy Fawkes, or Guy Fawkes Island.
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