Why do any of us non-Britons need to celebrate or indeed commemorate in any way an event that took place in the UK way back in 1605? The famous Gunpowder Plot has no bearing on any current events in the world and many folk have no idea who Guy Fawkes or any of his co-conspirators even were. How many of us, even in the UK can even name any of them.
Another interesting matter to ponder on: for a Catholic to celebrate 5 November is like a turkey celebrating Christmas, or a fundamentalist Muslim eating a croissant, as the whole thwarted plot was to blow up Parliament and install a Papist monarch in his resplendent Roman Red regalia to sit on the British throne. But the perps were caught, Guy Fawkes made to confess: in those days, their methods of getting information from a spy were vastly different to now, when he could have called a plump and prosperous defence lawyer to dispute the charges and plead for leniency. All those involved were later executed with no chance to declare a mistrial, make an appeal or request a last meal.
The above comparison refers to the story that the delectable pastries were first invented in their well known crescent form to celebrate a 1683 victory over Turkish forces following the siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Empire. Their flags were represented by the Islamic crescent and some baker, obviously thinking outside the box apparently decided that the shape had marketing possibilities. No kidding, some Islamic fundies have banned croissants fdue to this symbolism, but they don’t know what their taste buds are missing.
I can understand fireworks being used to celebrate the birth of the New Year, or Diwali, or as the climax of Bilbo Baggins’ eleventy-first birthday celebrations, but for these noisy artifacts to be detonated in this day and age in order to remember a relatively obscure event in British history is somewhat comical and absurd. Our non human friends of most species don’t find it any fun, as their hearing is more sensitive than ours and if they could get up a petition would certainly let us know their feelings on the matter. Our hearing has been de-sensitised by all the several million assorted noises all around us every day, and our unfortunate ears have had to undergo speedy evolution to counter the constant assault on them but I still wish there could be “silent” fireworks in which we could still see the dramatic showers of colourful sparks and stars without the deafening accompaniment. But maybe this would be akin to watching an entire orchestra miming the 1812 Overture without hearing a note.
Fortunately I never heard any crackers tonight, so the local canines can sleep in peace sans the sounds of the artillery arriving for a dress rehearsal of a war movie.
Guy Fawkes night, please go gentle into that good night with a whimper and without a bang.