Those of you who don’t live in the UK might not know what the big deal is with the fifth of November. If you did live here you would know that Bonfire Night is a month long celebration, involving setting stuff on fire and blowing stuff up.
Originally, just one night, when a large pile of wood was topped with a straw man known as Guy before being doused in petrol and set on fire, interspersed with some fireworks; Bonfire Night now sees the UK terrorise household pets for days on end all in the memory of the most famous failed terrorist attempt in British history.
Guy Fawkes is one of history’s greatest losers. He, along with some like-minded friends decided that something needed to be done about pesky King James I, and what better solution than to fill up the cellars underneath the Houses of Parliament will barrels of gunpowder and set the whole thing off in a blaze of righteous glory?
You see, the thing with James I is that he was meant to be much nicer to Catholics than his hardcore Protestant predecessor, Elizabeth I. She ousted James’ mother, or “maw” as he would have called her, got Shakespeare to write awesome things about her family and made sure that the “values” of the newly founded Church of England took precedence over the Catholic laws that stopped her dad, Big Henry, from copping off with as many new wives as he saw fit.
So when James was given a shot at being King, the Catholics in England and Scotland rejoiced in the belief that they would be given some much needed slack. But alas, Rome was far from James’ mind when he took the throne and any hopes that Catholics would receive the kind of treatment that his mother had promised quickly dissolved and left those praying for change needing to take matters into their own hands.
The plot to blow up England’s seat of power failed because some cold feet set in, metaphorical guts were spilled and before the fuse could be lit authorities were onto them. Fawkes and friends (great name for a pub) were tortured for a few days before the game was up and their final moments were spent dangling from a rope by their necks.
Fawkes was executed on the 31st of January 1606, just a few months after the gunpowder plot had been scuppered. His legacy was quick to set in with bonfire celebrations taking place in England just a few years after. The day was used by Protestants as a reminder of what could have been, of what they needed to avoid happening in the future and as a way to rub salt into the still blistering wounds of the Catholics who continued to see their influence in England and Scotland dwindle into insignificance.
Since then the image of Guy Fawkes has been hijacked as a symbol for anarchy and a challenge to authority in the 20th and 21st centuries. His face, or the one that we now recognise as his face anyway, was immortalised in Alan Moore’s iconic graphic novel, “V for Vendetta”, where the novel’s hero “V” uses arguably morally ambiguous methods to try and dent the authority of the totalitarian government he seeks to overthrow.
“V” embraced the Gun Powder Plot’s ideology by doing something that Superman never would have: taking the lives of innocents to fulfil what he, like Fawkes, perceived to be a greater good. And it was in that mould that Anonymous set themselves, using the Moore’s image to apply its own brand of unwavering cyber vigilantism.
Today, most kids in the UK will be able to tell you why we celebrate Bonfire Night as the history is taught in most schools on and round the 5th, but the spirit of anti-authority is a much less conscious effort than it was 500 years ago. Nowadays there are two types of bonfires. There are the safe, organised ones that have lasers, DJs, hotdog stalls and cost £10 to get in. The firework display is perfectly timed to last exactly 30 minutes and every one of them goes exactly where they are meant to. All anarchy at these events has been stifled by risk assessments, security and expensive glowing toys that break before you get home.
Then you have the ones in the woods, or up in the field, that have been organised by someone called Malky or Deano. The sort of bonfire where anything gets thrown on, whether it is strictly speaking flammable or not, Malky’s gonna burn it! There won’t be as many fireworks because they’ll have set so many of them off earlier in the week but there will be one giant firework. A firework so revered that most don’t believe it exists until they see it, wobbling in the ground, aimed at nothing, at nowhere in particular, waiting to finish off the night with either a flourish or a trip to A&E.
As with all events and festivals that we’ve dragged through the centuries behind us Bonfire Night is now just something that happens. Most aren’t interested in any symbolism and whilst we know why it happens, we don’t really care about anything other than fireworks and sparklers. We have Halloween, then we have Bonfire Night, a final blast of light before the long dark wait until Christmas.
Guy Fawkes will always be remembered in the UK because the story is just too fantastic not to remember it. He is the most famous loser in British history, whose botched terrorist plot has given the UK one of its most loved annual celebrations.
In case you do forget:
Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Happy Bonfire Night from thePogg.com! Wherever you are celebrating, stay safe.
Before we look at the slots games that I’ve selected for this week’s theme I want to issue a disclaimer: I couldn’t actually find any games that were Bonfire Night themed. I have found fireworks themes, a few about monarchies and some even more tenuous links that might impress you with their audacity. However, there is a comments section below so if you can think of anything better please let us know. It doesn’t have t be about Bonfire Night but maybe you can think of something less tenuous than some of the titles we’ll be going through. Let us know, even if it’s a game that has been pulled, we’d love to hear from you.
There might not be pandas anywhere in the Great Gunpowder Plot but there sure as hell was an awful lot of gunpower. Had our Fireworks Master taken control of the fuse on that fateful night then I don’t think events would have turned out quite as badly for poor Guy Fawkes. The Fireworks Master is so accomplished in his craft that he can sleep soundly whilst you set of his creations without any fear of them doing anything untoward. This game looks fantastic, with the grid set on shifting wooden boards that sees the number of payline increase. There are some interesting bonus features that allow the master to show off the full power of his fireworks, making this a game well worth checking out.
Play the game for free here
There’s no fire without a spark right? Poor Guy Fawkes could have used one of these the night he was arrested but of course, as we know, he just couldn’t get close enough. For those of you hoping that this game has something to do with the 70s Pop duo I’m afraid you’ll need to put your tiny moustaches away for now because this game is literally about sparks. All sorts and all colours with enough bonus features to keep you entertained long enough to stop feeling sorry for Mr Fawkes and friends.
Play the game for free here
According to Fawkes and Co, James I needed to be removed from power to give Fawkes and all his Catholic mates a slightly easier time. You could argue that as far as the dissidents were concerned James I rise to the throne was, in their eyes, forbidden. As such…you get where I’m going right? Tenuous enough for you? The game itself is fantasy themed with all sorts of fiery elves and wizards to warm you up on a cold November evening. You get Free Spins and Wilds in this and the game looks pretty good too.
Play the game for free here
Chinese New Year
Finally, we make our way back to China, the spiritual home of gunpowder. Chinese New Year doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Bonfire Night, other than the fact that there are lots of fireworks in this game. It’s a cracking looking game that celebrates the coming the Chinese New Year with the style and panache that only a load of fireworks can.
Play the game for free here
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