I had first learned of Guy Fawkes through V for Vendetta. The original comic, published by Vertigo, the more mature label of DC Comics.
Written by Alan Moore, this was his big follow up to Watchmen, and I remember reading it at the time and being a bit on the confused and disappointed side (will need to re-evaluate given my new locale). It was very British and a bit more challenging and mature than the super heroics of Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias. The movie adaptation was interesting if for nothing else, seeing Hugo Weaving take on a lead role post-Matrix.
Guy Fawkes Day is the 5th of November, and commemorates a foiled assassination plot by a group of militants. Guy was the bomb expert who was caught by the British and eventually tortured to give up his mates then executed, head on a spike as the Brits do. To celebrate the survival of the King, the holiday was created and fireworks displays are held.
Our office park held one this week as part of its ‘Enjoy Work‘ betterment campaign and it was pretty impressive. A group of us hung out with some beers (natch) and enjoyed the display. Something fun about seeing stuff explode over your office.
A couple of things I find interesting:
– there are full-on fireworks stores here in London, open year round. Who knew?
– even though the holiday is on the 5th, fireworks are displayed the entire week on and off. It’s like living in a war zone. Very different than the US – after July 4, we’re pretty much done
– people have no problem bringing said fireworks into the public park and shooting them off, brining the kiddies along. Lucy and Ronnie actually loved these on our walk, watching each bottle rocket shoot up and explode
Overall, a fun little holiday, next year will seek out some bigger displays and see how big a blow out the Brits can deliver – maybe check out how they do it in Lewes.
Side note: every time I see the ‘Enjoy Work’ slogan at work, I can’t shake the phrase ‘Work Sets You Free’ out of my head. Yeesh.