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Bonfire (Guy Fawkes) Night2018.08.09


Hello!
英会話イーオン日立校
カウンセラーの
Nobukoです♪
最近Jesse先生、Sarah先生の
ブログを読んで下さる生徒様が増えて、
とても嬉しく思います。
今日の担当はSarah先生!
8月よりSarah先生のブログは
木曜日にアップロードします!
さてさて、今回のテーマは
夏の風物詩
“Fireworks”について♪

============
Dear readers,
 
I hope you’re enjoying your summers!
Obon is coming soon and I’m excited
to do a little bit of travelling.

 
My idea for today’s topic came from
a Japanese Summer tradition:
fireworks festivals. Around this time
every year, a lot of people in Japan
gather for colourful fireworks displays,
wearing cool yukatas. In the US,
fireworks displays are also usually held
in the summertime, a little earlier, in June.
But did you know that in the UK
our main fireworks festivals are
during the winter?

 
These fireworks festivals surround
‘bonfire night’ or ‘Guy Fawkes night’
on the 5
th
November, and are usually
held either on this date or the weekend
before or after. Traditionally,
for bonfire night festivals, villagers
build giant fires in their local parks,
or sometimes in people’s gardens.
These fires are often around
ten metres tall, and they look stunning
when lit! Because the weather is
usually quite cold by November,
the fire keeps us warm.

 
At some point in the evening,
usually around seven or eight PM,
the fireworks begin! Depending on
which festival you go to, the fireworks
can last from around fifteen minutes
to an hour. Some localities have really
impressive displays. As well as admiring
fireworks in the skies, children often
play with small handheld fireworks
which we call ‘sparklers’. You can write
your name with them in the air.

 
One of the main reasons I love
bonfire night is that it’s traditional
to eat toffee at your local festival!
Toffee apples on sticks are very popular,
as is ‘treacle toffee’, which is very dark
(almost black), rich-tasting toffee.
It’s really chewy and so delicious.

 
The atmosphere at these festivals
is so nice and cosy. Everyone is
always wrapped up in big coats,
scarves and gloves, and the fire’s
beautiful glow bathes everything
in the surrounding area in a soft
orange light. As we eat our toffee
apples we can see each other's breath
due to the cold. I know that Japanese
Summer fireworks festivals are lovely,
but it’s a very different feeling to
that of a November bonfire night in the UK!

 
Although it’s very lovely, however,
bonfire night in the UK has a dark
origin! The reason we sometimes call it
‘Guy Fawkes night’ is because it’s
based on the story of a man named
Guy Fawkes from the early 1600’s.
Guy Fawkes was an extremist Catholic
who resented Britain’s move away
from Catholicism to Protestantism
as its main religion (which began
under King Henry VIII). He organized
a plot to blow up the houses of
parliament in London, and kill the then
current King James I who was
a Protestant. He stockpiled huge
amounts of gunpowder below
the houses of parliament, but the plot
was discovered at the last minute
and Guy Fawkes was captured,
tortured, and executed for high treason.
All of this happened on November 5
th
1605.
Since then people have celebrated
the failure of this plot to kill the king
with bonfires and (later) fireworks!
It’s a very grim story, but that’s
what happened! Nowadays though,
we barely think of Guy Fawkes
on November 5
th – we’re just in it
for the nice atmosphere,
the pretty fireworks and the toffee.

 
I wonder how many of you already
knew about bonfire night? It’s one
of the UK’s strangest festivals,
but I highly recommend going to
a 5
Th
November event if you’re ever
in the UK around that time.

 
I hope you have a nice week
whether you attend a festival or not!


All the best,
 
Sarah

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