Halloween was pretty low-key this year. My mother made Zoe's costume for her and I only had to secure the accessories. In order to participate in the costume parade at school, Zoe had to dress as a storybook character, so she picked Fancy Nancy.
Class parade- her teacher was Viola Swamp
Noah's class did not participate in the costume parade and therefore he only wore his costume in the evening. He wanted to be a Minecraft creeper and I spent more time than I care to admit gluing green squares to a cardboard box to make his "head". He got a lot of compliments, though, and that made me feel it was worth all the time spent.
My kids wanted to pass out candy rather than go trick-or-treating and I was completely fine with that, so I parked them in front of the door with a giant cauldron full of candy and was actually surprised with the number of trick-or-treaters and amount of candy we went through. Zoe decided after the evening got off to a good start that she wanted to go trick-or-treating but I told her we had to stay home and pass out candy now but thankfully, our friends stopped by to get candy and they took the kids around with them to hit a few houses.
November 5th is the date the English celebrate Guy Fawkes/ Bon Fire night. This goes back to the foiling of a plot to overthrow the King and government in 1605.
Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603 and many of the Catholics in England hoped that her successor, James I, would be more tolerant of them as they were persecuted under Elizabeth's rule. James did not turn out to be any more tolerant of Catholics than Elizabeth and so a plot was formed by a few men to blow up Parliament with hopes of killing the King, members of Parliament and overthrowing the government.
Thirty- six barrels of gunpowder were placed in a cellar beneath the House of Lords in anticipation of carrying out the plot. They were betrayed, though and on November 5, 1605, the authorities stormed the cellar and found Guy Fawkes with the barrels of gunpowder. He was tortured and killed. All around London, bonfires were lit in celebration of the safety of the King and this has become a tradition ever since with the addition of throwing effigies of Guy Fawkes on the fire for burning. There is even a poem that is recited about the event:
Remember remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
On the night of November fifth and often the weekend closest to the date, villages all over England have bonfires and fireworks. Our village had a bonfire and fireworks this past weekend. The fireworks show was excellent and the kids thoroughly enjoyed the whole event.
in front of the bon fire (it had died down, it was big) with a Flat Stanley with are hosting:
effigies for the fire:
If you would like to read more information about Guy Fawkes, you can find it here.