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Firework Displays in Gloucestershire Safety

Why do we celebrate November 5th with bonfires and fireworks?

In November 1605, the infamous Gunpowder Plot took place when a group of Catholics plotted to demolish (with the help of dozens of barrels of gunpowder hidden in a cellar under the houses of Parliament) the King James l and his followers, the day set for the king to open Parliament.

The Catholics were fuming because the king was treating them so badly making them practise their religion in secret and were punished severely if caught. They were also made to attend the Protestant church on Sunday or on holy days.

At first they thought James 1 when coming to the throne (after replacing Queen Elizabeth 1) would be more lenient with Catholicism, but instead he made their lives even more of a misery. That's when a hard-line of Catholics decided to exact revenge and led by Robert Catesby and key plotter Guy Fawkes, they decided to blow him up!

The story is remembered each November 5th when 'Guys' (effigies of Guy Fawkes made out of old clothes and stuffed with straw) are burned in a celebration known as "Bonfire Night".

During the days before Bonfire Night, children used to take their home-made guys out on the street and ask for "a penny for the Guy" for fireworks.

On fireworks displays throughout Gloucestershire expect to find typical 'Bonfire Night' food to keep you warm whilst gazing at the dazzling illuminations like potatoes wrapped in foil and wholesome soup, as well as sausages cooked over the flames and marshmallows toasted in the fire. You may even find the traditional cake eaten on bonfire night, Parkin Cake - a sticky cake containing a mix of oatmeal, ginger, treacle and syrup.


If celebrating November 5th at home remember the Firework Code

  • Keep fireworks in a sealed box or tin
  • Use them one at a time, replacing the lid immediately
  • NEVER put fireworks in your pocket
  • Read the instructions carefully, using a torch or hand lamp NEVER use a naked flame
  • Light fireworks at arms length using a taper or a firework lighter
  • Stand well back and NEVER return to a firework after it has been lit, it could explode in your face
  • Ensure that all chidren with fireworks are well supervised
  • NEVER throw fireworks
  • Keep all pets and animals indoors
  • Take care of sparklers, wear gloves to hold them and dispose of sparklers in a bucket of water as soon as they are finished

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