Remember, remember, the fifth of November!
Today (Nov 5th that is; don’t mind the timestamp on this entry) was Guy Fawkes Night here in the UK, a night for fireworks and bonfires. Why? To remember the king’s narrow escape from an assassination plot, or so I just learned from Wikipedia.
It’s a really good thing Wikipedia exists, because based on a partial explanation I heard, I thought people lit bonfires and fireworks in a rather anarchical spirit, celebrating Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow up Parliament with gunpowder (gunpowder –> explosion –> fireworks & bonfire). But apparently, effigies of the failed assassin are burned in these bonfires, and we celebrate the survival of the monarchy, not the scheming of its demise. Given the arc of England’s history, that makes a LOT more sense.
While I’m sure seeing fireworks lit above the Thames would be fun, I have to admit that having had a riverfront view of the July 4th fireworks over the Hudson this year made me a bit of a snob. I doubt that they’d have smiley face-shaped fireworks here. I didn’t go, so I can’t say for sure, but I daresay not.
ON THE OTHER HAND. Though I doubt London’s fireworks could outshine New York’s, you can’t light fireworks from your fire escape in New York! I went to a housewarming party in North London tonight, where WE LIT OUR OWN FIREWORKS IN THE BACKYARD.
This is illegal in most states in the US (even sparklers are illegal in some states!), so it was exciting and scary and awesome all at once.