Tonight, the people of New Zealand are celebrating Guy Fawkes, a holiday I’ll never quite understand. Technically it’s not until tomorrow night, but there have been heaps of fireworks and crackers going off tonight in my suburb.
For a few days before this date, stores across New Zealand sell fireworks packages… I don’t think they’re allowed to sell them legally at any other time during the year. They come in various sizes, with the bigger ones costing up to a couple hundred dollars. And people buy these! And the fireworks aren’t even that great, in my opinion. I’d much rather go see a professional fireworks show.
Unfortunately, and I know this is going to sound horrible on my part, I can’t even be bothered properly explaining it for anyone in the US! Click that link up there and read it if you can without falling asleep.
It’s all very confusing, depending on how far into that wiki article you read — but it seems everyone is in agreement that it stems from the failed Gun Powder Plot of 1605, which was an assassination attempt on Protestant King James I of England.
Some historians say it serves as a “Protestant replacement for the ancient Celtic and Nordic festivals of Samhain, pagan events that the church absorbed and transformed into All Hallow’s Eve and All Souls’ Day.” I don’t really see how Samhain would tie in with fireworks? Bit of a stretch to me!
It just seems like another excuse to drink for New Zealand (as if we need another one of those), and to set off noisy fireworks that scare the crap out of animals in the area. Luckily I managed to get Winters and Moose inside for the night before they started.
I can’t help but wonder how many dogs are going to spend tonight and tomorrow night highly distressed at the loud sounds happening and how many cats are going to spend this weekend’s evenings hiding from the world.
Do any of you celebrate Guy Fawkes Night? I swear I won’t hold it against you. :P
Image source: Erin Silversmith