6 November 2008

Guy Fawkes

Last night was Bond Fire Night. A celebration/remembrance/giant party for Guy Fawkes day. For those of you unfamiliar with Guy Fawkes, click here for an explanation.

I was home last night, I did not partake in any celebration or even attempt to watch the fireworks. Instead I sat on my couch, continually turning up the volume on the T.V. in an attempt to drown out the fireworks exploding all around. But it got me thinking about Guy Fawkes back in America. It is safe to say that less than 5% of Americans celebrate or even recognise that Guy Fawkes is an actual day, that Bond Fire Night is an event that people plan parties around and spend money on. But when I was growing up, my school celebrated Guy Fawkes.

All my young years of schooling were spent at Holland Hall. It was, and still is, quite an uppity, posh private school in Oklahoma. My parents sent us there to get a good education. They took us out because it was ridiculous. Ah, I digress. The point is, there was this one British teacher in the upper school. He was a proper Brit. (or at least he has become one in my memory) I cant remember if he agreed with Guy Fawkes, or the British who burned him, but every year he has his students and their families, and pretty much anyone else, make effigies of Guy Fawkes. Giant, life size people of this man that attempted to over throw the British government. Then on the 5 November, he would plan a 'Bond Fire Night' Everyone would gather down on the football field with wooden crates, sticks, firewood etc... and we would start a giant bond fire. Then a bunch of elementary and middle school kids would throw these life size effigies into the fire. It was a recreation of the Guy Fawkes execution. We re-enacted it every year on the football field. I thought it was great.

Eventually someone complained, saying it was inappropriate for young children to burn effigies, it was unsafe etc, etc... and the teacher had to stop. I don’t know if Holland Hall still celebrates Guy Fawkes. I am not sure if anyone in America really celebrates it. But when i move back, I will. My family will have our own bond fire night; even if it is only in back garden in our grill! we will make mini-effigies and burn those instead. what a fun way to learn history. what a fun memory.

Picture of the fireworks in London last night.


Stefanie said...

I'm so happy that I just got to talk to you!!! I'm not sure what I think of teaching children to burn effigies of people they disagree with ... I'm a little torn on that one. Do you think I should start using that as a therapeutic technique w/ my clients?

kristina said...

I am so happy to talk to you too!!

to clarify though, we didnt get to make effigies of just anyone...only guy fawkes. he tried to overthrow the British government, was caught, and as punishment was burned. they did crazy things like that in the 'olden days' :)

but hey! i totally recommend buring things as therapy...perhaps just not people ;)