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Guy Fawkes – What is it and why do we celebrate it?

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Guy Fawkes (or Bonfire night) is an annual celebration – primarily in Great Britain. Festivities are centred around the use of fireworks and the lighting of bonfires.

Historically, the celebrations mark the anniversary of the failed gunpowder plot of the 5th November 1605. The gunpowder plot was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England & VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Sir Robert Catesby.

The plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament on 5 November 1605. Fawkes, who had 10 years of military experience, was given charge of the explosives.

The plot was revealed to the authorities in an anonymous letter. During a search of the House of Lords at about midnight on 4 November 1605, Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder & arrested.

The thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot was commemorated for many years afterwards by special sermons and other public events such as the ringing of church bells, which have evolved into the bonfire night of today.

So now, thanks to some guy who tried to blow up a building a couple of hundred years ago, we get to set off fireworks every year. In recent years there has been a lot of conversation about how dangerous the setting off of fire crackers is, not only for the humans who don’t practice safety precautions, but also for our pets.

Fireworks are not animal-friendly. Normally, when there are celebrations involving fireworks, animal shelters are overwhelmed with stray animals and reports of injuries to animals. Many of injured or terrorized animals run away from the noise & end up getting hit by cars, resulting in deaths and injuries.

Fireworks can produce a blind panic in animals that can lead to serious injury, and debilitating fears. Animals ears are much more sensitive that the human ear. Therefore the explosion of a firework (which emits sounds of up to 190 decibels, a full 110 to 115 decibels higher that the 75-80 decibel range where damage to the human ear begins), is not proportionately more disturbing to an animal, but it can also affect an animals acute sense of hearing.

So, tonight, have fun while being safe and responsible.

Sources:

Wikipedia

http://www.all-creatures.org/oadl/art-fireworks.html

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