As everyone who lives in the Northern Avalon Peninsula knows, Bonfire Night on November 5th is a huge celebration. Many communities, including Brigus, Bay Roberts and Carbonear sponsor town bonfires.
What is the origin and purpose of Bonfire night? According to Wikipedia, It actually has two origins from our Celtic and our British Ancestors. Samhain, which means November in Irish, was an ancient celebration for end of summer and the Harvest season in the Celtic calendar. It was the last great feast held outdoors before the cold months came.
Later Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night began. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London.
Most people today do not know or care about the origins … they just enjoy a fun community gathering for families – to celebrate the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. They drink hot chocolate, roast wieners, and marshmallows… and sometimes even a few dried caplin.