Here we are again. The 5th of November. I hate this day. Whether it’s because of V for Vendetta, or the real life Guy Fawkes, people seem to remind me every November 5th that it is the 5th of November. Sure, the story of the Gunpowder Plot is fascinating. One man tried to overthrow an oppressive government in the name of freedom.
Except that’s not what it was about. It was all about religion. England hates Catholics, but they love Protestants. The Catholics gathered together to not upheave the government, but to blow it the fuck up. When Guy Fawkes gathered the gunpowder under the House of Lords, he was not planning to blow up just the building, but the entirety of Parliament during the State Opening. With everyone dead the mostly Protestant England would have no choice but to accept Catholicism, right?
Guy Fawkes Night originated as a commemoration that the plot had failed and the King had not died. For a long time the celebration had religious overtones with a very anti-Catholic theme. Eventually that all died away and was replaced with a holiday much more like Halloween, but with the same roots as Columbus Day. Celebrations from savagery.