On the 5th of November, 1605, a group of men attempted to carry out the ‘gunpowder plot’, a failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James the First. The man who was to light the barrels of gunpowder was named Guy Fawkes. The plan was discovered, however, when one of the conspirators sent a letter to his cousin warning him not to visit the Houses of Parliament. Fawkes was then caught just before lighting the fuse to the 36 barrels of gunpowder; enough evidence to lead to his conviction and execution. Today, the plot continues to be remembered through the use of fireworks, bonfire parties and general celebrations, observed primarily in England, but also in places such as New Zealand. Four hundred years on, Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night is really an excuse to have a firecracker of a party!
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