What do you know about this rhyme?
"Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot..."
Exactly! It refers to Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night.
On the 5th of November 1605, Guy Fawkes (or "Guido" as he prefered to be called) was caught in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament with 36 barrels and a number of fuses. It was a conspiracy to kill James I and his government! Fawkes was sentenced to death and the form of the execution was one of the most horrendous ever practised (hung, drawn and quartered) which reflected the serious nature of the crime of treason.
In England, the 5th of November is still commemorated each year with fireworks and bonfires culminating with the burning of effigies of Guy Fawkes (the guy) and people chanting the rhyme. Guys are made by children by filling old clothes with crumpled newspapers to look like a man. Tradition allows British children to display their guys to passers-by and asking for "A penny for the guy".
Nowadays, families and friends meet to have dinner all together. They usually have baked potatoes, bangers and mash, toffee apples... for dinner.
If you want to know more about this festivity, follow these links:
Moreover, if your goal is to practise listening or if you want to do some exercises, you can follow these links:
- Video British Holidays - Guy Fawkes Day (with English subtitles)
- Video This is Britain Bonfire Night (with English subtitles)
- Reading, listening, multiple choice... exercises
Finally, could you tell us if you have find out the meaning of the following words?:
- To learn of
- To chant