November 5th Gunpowder Day

If you were a Catholic in 1603 England life got pretty rough for you. King James came into power and decided that the Catholic religion could no longer be practiced in the UK and there was a severe punishment to those who did. Most Catholics continued to practice but in silence and hiding in the shadows.

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Guy Fawkes was a Catholic and took exception to the King’s commands. He Formed a secret group of believers and formed the Gunpowder Conspiracy in which they planned to blow up Parliament with some well placed barrels of gunpowder underneath the House of Commons. This is also known as Guy Fawkes Day.

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The plan went well, the barrels were put in place and ready to be ignited when Parliament met. There was enough powder in place to not only blow up the Parliament, the House of Commons and probably the entire block.

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The problem for Fawkes, and his followers, was that the secret was not all that much of a secret. The gunpowder was found, the conspirators captured and the whole plan foiled. Though it did come close to being completed, it did not come off with the bang expected.

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Imagine if it had been successful. The King was visiting Parliament that day so the entire government in England would have been blown to kingdom come. The date was remembered, and now that religious freedom reigns again in the UK, it is celebrated with fireworks.

How to celebrate – Set off some fireworks of your own (please do this away from people who are not aware of the day). Wear a Guy Fawkes mask, which has become very popular. Visit a Catholic church.