Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Guy Fawkes Night!

November 5th is a holiday in England--Guy Fawkes Night.  Guy Fawkes was the man who was caught trying to blow up King James 1, the Stuart king from Scotland who was adamently Protestant, and replace him with a Catholic king.  The evening is celebrated by building outdoors bonfires, throwing a dummy figure that is supposed to be Guy Fawkes into the fire, and shooting off fireworks.

The Oxford, an English restaurant in downtown Raleigh, was holding a public gathering for Guy Fawkes Night in the street in front of the building as part of the monthly First Friday night tour of the city's art galleries and museums.  So we spent the first part of the evening admiring, talking about, and even creating some art, then headed down to the Guy Fawkes celebrations.

This version was highly influenced by the movie "V for Vendetta," which features a call to revolution on a November 5th of the future.  Many people, including the Guy Fawkes effigy, were wearing the V mask worn by Hugo Weaving in the film.  There was also a local band playing classic rock, as well some Cirque du Soleil type fire dancers and gymnasts. 

So I don't know how authentic it was, but it was fun, it was a beautiful fall night, and it was a good excuse to brush up on our early 17th century British history.

1 comment:

  1. I loved that movie and the graphic novel it came from. What makes it touching is the modern-day actions, such as the Scientology action by 4chan, done in the name of Anonymous (with that mask). Some memes have the amazing staying power through the ages!

    Moore's (the film creator) quote from there: "I was also quite heartened the other day when watching the news to see that there were demonstrations outside the Scientology headquarters over here, and that they suddenly flashed to a clip showing all these demonstrators wearing V for Vendetta Guy Fawkes masks. That pleased me. That gave me a warm little glow."

    TED interview with the young creator of 4chan, "moot" (not anonymous anymore, after his Time Magazine "100 most influential people" and what not):