Remember, Remember The Fifth Of November
This year is the 400th anniversary of the failed plot by Catholic terrorists including Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament during the state opening by King James I. Betrayed when an anonymous letter of warning was sent to a Catholic parliamentarian, warning him not to attend that day. Fawkes was captured in the cellars with 36 barrels of gunpowder, taken to the Tower of London, and tortured until he revealed the identities of the other plotters. Since that day in 1605, effigies of Fawkes have been burnt on bonfires up and down the country every November 5th.
What most American’s don’t realize is the close link between Halloween and Guy Fawkes. Back in the days of Fawkes, bands of masked Protestants wearing masks would persecute Catholics, visiting them in the night demanding they be given cakes and beer. This ritualistic persecution was just too much fun to abandon, so the American settlers moved the practice to Halloween rather than abandon it completely.
Celebrations that seemed so innocent as a child growing up in London now has so many overtones of recent troubles. Bombings in London by religious zealots hoping to overthrow the government, and the religious persecution which followed all just strikes too close to home to celebrate.