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Guy Fawkes Day: 5 Things To Know About The Fifth Of November

Tue, November 5, 2013 1:20pm EDT by 12 Comments
Guy Fawkes Day
Hulton Archive/Getty

While you’re chanting “remember, remember, the fifth of November,” here’s a few things to know about the history of November 5, and of Guy Fawkes.

Guy Fawkes rose to fame after planning the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, and failing. On Nov. 5, we remember the fifth with fireworks and parties, and some of us even watch V for Vendetta, the film based on Guy’s actions.

Guy Fawkes Day: 5 Things To Know

Want to know what November 5 was made famous for? We’re here for you.

1. Guy Fawkes joined a group of English Catholics and attempted to plant gunpowder in the cellar of the Palace of Westminister in 1605, planning to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England’s Parliament. He was discovered by Thomas Knyvett, the keeper of the Whitehall Palace on November 5. He found Guy (who was posing as John Johnson), along with about 900 kg of gunpowder. The group he was involved with was planning to assassinate the Protestant King James.

2. The holiday was celebrated by fireworks because those in London were encouraged to celebrate the safety of the king by lighting fires. The celebrations were actually repealed in 1859. The celebration has become less and less each year, but many have fireworks to remember the Gunpowder plot.

3. Those who searched the palace actually found out about the assassination plan from an anonymous letter!

4. “Remember, Remember, the fifth of November” is the line from a poem that took on the nature of a nursery rhyme. Here is the full verse:

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

5. V for Vendetta is based on Alan Moore‘s comic book series, which became popular with a mask styled like the one Guy was wearing. So in case you thought it looked familiar, that’s why!

Here’s a video for a little more info!

WATCH: The Story of Guy Fawkes

— HL Staff