We don't celebrate Guy Fawkes Day in Vanuatu, and we didn't in Australia. Nonetheless, it has always been a special day in my family, particularly for my Dad.
Guy Fawkes was one of the catholic conspirators in the Gunpoweder plot to blow up the British (protestant) Parliament and therefore kill the King, James the first, on this day in 1605. The plan was foiled and Guy Fawkes was subsequently hung, drawn and quartered.
So why is this day remembered in the Taylor family?
Firstly, my Dad is English and the English celebrate Guy Fawkes Night in remembrance of the above events. There will be bonfires and fireworks, and a dummy Guy Fawkes will be tossed on the flames. Interestingly, I remember this tradition continuing in Australia on the Queen's birthday holiday when I was a child. There would be crackers, a bonfire and a dummy tossed on the bonfire. I don't know if it still continues...
Secondly, my Dad's mother is descended from Lord Monteagle who is thought to be responsible for foiling the plot to blow up parliament.
Thirdly, it is my Dad's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!
Here is the beginning of a verse written just after the plot, the first line of which my Dad used to quote over and over again! Do you know the rest of it, Dad?
Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.