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Bonfire Night

In the UK, Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes is celebrated on November 5th and the night
skies are filled with colour. It's a special day in honour of a historic event.
The year was 1605 and some English Catholics were angry because the King of
England, James the first, was treating them badly. In November 1605 a group of men
made a plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament (the government buildings) in
London. An enormous explosion was planned for November 5th. This was the day that
the King was due to open parliament. The plan is known as the ‘Gunpowder Plot’ and
the leader of the group was called Guy Fawkes. The men put 36 barrels of gunpowder
(a type of explosive) in the Houses of Parliament and they waited for the King to arrive.
The group decided that Guy Fawkes should light the gunpowder and cause the
explosion. Did they succeed? No, they didn’t. The police found the gunpowder before
it exploded and they caught all the men involved in the plot. The men were tortured
and killed. To celebrate his survival, King James ordered the people of England to have
a bonfire on the night of November 5th.
Bonfires, Guys and fireworks
On November 5th people remember the plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament by
celebrating ‘Bonfire Night’. All over Britain there are firework displays and bonfires with
models of Guy Fawkes, which are burned on the fire. The Guy is made of old clothes
and the clothes are filled with newspaper. The Guy is a reminder of Guy Fawkes. The
fireworks are a reminder of the gunpowder that Guy Fawkes hid in the cellar of
Parliament. Some people have a small bonfire in their garden on November 5th. In
main towns and cities there are big bonfires and firework displays. The biggest fireworks
display is the Edenbridge Display in Kent. Edenbridge also has the biggest Guy. A 9metre ‘celebrity’ model is burned there every year. Last year the celebrity Guy was
Wayne Rooney wearing Shrek-style ears and a Manchester United football shirt.
It’s normally quite cold in November in Britain, so on Bonfire Night people wear hats,
scarves and gloves to spend the evening outside. They need some warm food too.
Traditional Bonfire Night food is hot baked potatoes. The potatoes are cooked on the
bonfire and filled with butter and cheese. There are also toffee apples (apples on a
stick, covered in sweet toffee) and in the north of England they eat a special type of
cake called parkin. Cooking marshmallows on the bonfire is also popular. Yum!
Penny for the Guy
In Britain only adults can buy fireworks but in the past they were sold to children too.
During the days before Bonfire Night, children used to take their home-made Guys onto
the streets and ask for ‘a penny for the Guy’ to collect money to buy fireworks. Now
you have to be over 18 to buy fireworks, and safety on Bonfire Night is an important

British people ___________________ Guys on bonfires in local parks or in private gardens. Is it true that the King _ ______________________________________________ Guy Fawkes? 4. You can _______________________________________ ________ the Guy with newspaper. 5. Guy Fawkes planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament in _______________. 1. 6. A lot __________________________________________ about the history of Bonfire Night. 4. 2. Complete the sentences with the correct passive or active verb form. Is the Guy ________________________________ with old clothes? 6. 2. the King of England. 5. 36 / 5th / 18 / 1605/ 9/ First 1. Discuss What special days do you celebrate in your country with fireworks or bonfires? Do you like watching fireworks? Why or Why not? Fireworks can be dangerous. Is there an age limit for buying fireworks in your country? . People under _______________ can’t buy fireworks in the UK 2. 3. 8. We ___________________________________ a big party for Bonfire Night last year. 7. They __________________________________________ the potatoes in the oven then we put them on the bonfire. People remember the plot to destroy the Houses of Parliament and kill King James with fireworks and bonfires on November _______________. A group of people wanted to kill James the _______________. Edenbridge in Kent burns a _______________ metre Guy on a bonfire every year. Fireworks __________________________________ to children when my mum was little. Check your understanding: gap fill Complete the gaps with a number from the box. 3. Guy Fawkes and his men put _______________ barrels of explosives in the Houses of Parliament.1.

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