Remembering the 5th of November, London-Style

12 Nov

The 5th of November is Guy Fawkes Day. The holiday originated in Britian so it’s a huge deal over here. We celebrated it London-style by attending one of the many fireworks displays in the city. When I say many I’m not kidding…there were about 20 different displays to choose from in the London area, just on Saturday night.

I still find the entire holiday amusing. Putting aside the fact that V for Vendetta is one of my favorite movies, it is quite strange to stop and think about why the 5th of November is celebrated. Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the government. He tried, he wasn’t even good because he got caught, yet now he has his own holiday. Go figure. I learned that a popular British tradition on the 5th of November is to lite a bonfire and burn a Guy Fawkes edifice at the top of it, so I guess the holiday makes some sense.

Our choices for which fireworks display to attend were narrowed down to two: Battersea Park and Southwark Park. Battersea Park cost 6 pounds for entry (about 10 dollars) so naturally as college students in one of the most expensive cities in Europe, we chose the free fireworks display. It was fun…for the 10 minutes it lasted. You heard that right, only ten minutes! I was very disappointed the display was that short, my expectations for Guy Fawkes night fireworks displays were a lot higher. After talking to my flatmates later I realized I should have sucked it up and paid the 6 pounds for the better (and significantly longer) fireworks display. Regardless though, I’m glad I had the opportunity to celebrate a British holiday in London.

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