More than 20m Brits to celebrate Guy Fawkes night on November 5

GMT 17:52 2014 Sunday ,02 November

Arab Today, arab today More than 20m Brits to celebrate Guy Fawkes night on November 5

Guy Fawkes
London - XINHUA

Over 20 million people - almost a third of Great Britain's population - will on November 5 celebrate an unsuccessful bid by plotters in 1605 to assassinate the King and blow up the House of Lords.
More than 400 years later the Bonfire Night - also known as Guy Fawkes Night - is big business, setting off fireworks worth millions of pounds and providing an annual bonanza for fireworks and pyrotechnic firms across Britain.
Industry experts say around 3,500 are employed by fireworks industry in the country, mostly staffing organised displays. The industry said to earn 40 million pounds for Britain's economy every year - mostly around November 5 celebrations.
It all started when a group of Catholics, eager to remove a protestant monarch - King James - hatched a plan in 1605. Guy Fawkes was tasked with arranging for barrels of gunpowder to be hidden beneath the House of Lords.
The King was tipped off about the so-called Gunpowder Plot and sent his men to search the cellars beneath the Palace of Westminster. They found the gunpowder and arrested Guy Fawkes.
Even today during the State Opening of Parliament by the Queen - her only annual visit to Parliament - officials known as Yeomen of the Guard - search the same cellars, just in case traitors plan a similar attempt.
Guy Fawkes was taken to the Tower of London, tortured and within days most of the traitors were rounded up. Those caught were executed by the grizzy method of being hung, drawn and quartered.
The segments of Fawkes' own body were dispatched to the four corners of the kingdom as a warning to would-be Royal assassins.
King James ordered celebration bonfires to be lit across the land - something continuing to this day. Fireworks were added later, as well as effigies of Guy Fawkes to be burned on the bonfires.
Campaigners want to see an end to the spectacle of Bonfire Night, claiming it is dangerous as well as harmful to wildlife.
And although a few weeks ago tougher laws were introduced to make it harder for children to buy fireworks, it seems the tradition grows from strength to strength.
Most local authorities around Britain will stage civic fireworks displays on November 5, such is the passion for Bonfire Night celebrations even in an era of public austerity cuts.
Dr Tom Smith, spokesman for the British Pyrotechnists Association said: "There are about 250 firms in the UK involved in fireworks, but only one British manufacturer fireworks remains.
"Most of our fireworks used come from China. Chinese fireworks have had an unjustified bad press. Provided fireworks comply with relevant standards there is nothing inherently wrong with Chinese fireworks. Some fireworks are imported from Germany, Spain and Italy.
"For domestic sales of Fireworks, Bonfire Night is by far the busiest time, but New Year is increasingly active, and for professional displays, July can be very busy."
On the question of banning fireworks Dr Smith said: "We believe this would lead to an increase in accidents. Consumer fireworks should be fired according to the instructions and be of a proper standard. Product failures are very rare and incidents are normally down to misuse or improper use. We believe the current situation is sensible.
"In Berlin on one night - New Year's Eve - there are more accidents than in the whole of the UK in a year. The French have several fatalities a year from misuse - yet Germany and France would be held up as having better controlled fireworks than the UK.
"We estimate over 20 million people will either attend a private or public display in November - it may be a wet and potentially miserable time of year, maybe that's why we like to celebrate it so much."
A traditional rhyme in Britain starts with the line: Remember, remember the fifth of November. And it seems most people in Britain will never want to forget the exploits of Guy Fawkes and his gang of plotters.

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بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
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