Tuesday, 6 November 2007
I'm sitting listening to more fireworks this evening. We have heard bangs and whistles for 5 days now. The official celebration was yesterday November 5th. For those non-English readers November 5th is called Bonfire Night or more officially Guy Fawkes night. We celebrate the fact that a person called Guy Fawkes and his Catholic friends were caught before they managed to blow up parliament and King James 1, in 1605. The original terrorist, before the word was invented.
I have some sympathy with the Catholic plight at the time. They were treated as second class citizens with less rights than the protestants.
I have never been a fan of the practice of burning effigies of the man on bonfires but I do love a large bonfire and can ooh and aah like the next child at the fireworks.
It is interesting that Catholics today celebrate Bonfire Night along with the rest of the population, without a blink of an eye. When I was in America on July 4th some Americans thought that I would feel uncomfortable with everyone celebrating the defeat of the British on that day. It hadn't occurred to me to be bothered. It was so long ago.
This attitude of the British is in contrast with the Muslim attitude to the Crusades, which finished in 1291. I was astounded to learn that the Muslims in Kuwait still hold a grudge about these events!