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Who is Guy Fox and why do the British celebrate his day?

Every year on the fourth of November foreign tourists in the UK become eyewitnesses of an unusual action. Hundreds and thousands of boys walk door to door and beg for coins "for a light for the glorious guy Guy Fawkes." Adults willingly give them pennies. And the next day, the whole of Britain seems to go crazy: everywhere there are fires, on which some scarecrow is burned, folk festivities and songs. What a Shrovetide at the end of autumn? And who is Guy Fox? Does this holiday look like St. Martin's Day, which is celebrated in Catholic countries later, November 13? Then the kids also walk from door to door, sing, and they are presented with sweets. Or maybe this holiday is close to Halloween (October 31)? Let's study this question.

Who is Guy Fox?

In the original, his name is Guy Fawkes, he is a native of York. He was a nobleman, a Catholic by faith. History would not have kept his name to us, had it not been for his ability to handle explosives. And if the king of England and Scotland, Jacob I, ascended to the throne, was not so cruel to the "papists." His religious repression, he did so that many Catholics turned against him. It can be said that he almost provoked a civil war. Against the king, with the active support of the head of the Jesuit order , a conspiracy was organized, which later became known as the Powder. Its participants conceived to undermine the building where the House of Lords was. The terrorist attack was timed to coincide with the date of November 5, 1605, when the King's throne speech was to be heard, so that all members of the two houses of parliament, as well as representatives of the supreme judicial power of the country, died with him. Fox was neither the head nor the soul of the conspiracy. He was simply instructed to light a wick of a powder projectile designed to destroy a building.

The failure of the conspirators

The gang of rebels consisted of thirteen people. This is too much to prevent information leakage. But mercy killed the conspirators. Someone from the underground sent an anonymous letter to a certain Lord Montigl who was also a Catholic, warning that he would not go to the ceremony. He showed the letter to the Chancellor. The latter handed it over to King James I. In the meantime, the head of the plot rented a basement, located directly under the building of the House of Lords. There, the underground brought thirty-six barrels of gunpowder - a charge capable not only of destroying the monumental building to its foundations, but also knocking out the stained glass windows from the half-mile of Westminster Abbey. While the organizers left for Warwickshire County, from where it was planned to launch an offensive on the capital after the coup, Guy Fox remained in the cellar waiting for "Hour X". There, a 35-year-old man was arrested on the night of November 5, 1605. And within a month the whole country learned who Guy Fox is.

The triumph of "justice"

The king personally authorized the use of torture to the captured prisoner. As a result of many days of suffering, the unfortunate gave out the names of his accomplices: Robert Keatsby, Thomas Winter, Thomas Percy, John Wright, Robert Case and Francis Thresham. They were all arrested. On January 27, 1606, an indicative court took place, where the conspirators were sentenced to a terrible execution. First they had to be hung, but not to death, cutting the rope in time. Then they were decided to oskopit (cut the stomach, so that the internals fell out), and only then quartered. On January 31, the execution took place. But here, too, the young terrorist actor made the whole country talk about who Guy Fox is. Despite the fact that his legs were broken by torture, he jumped off the scaffold with a rope around his neck. So he broke his neck, thus avoiding "fair punishment".

As the day of Guy Fawkes is celebrated

In honor of the miraculous salvation of the king, the monarchists of Great Britain celebrated the anniversary of this event every year. To dance and rejoice was prescribed by a special law, which called November 5 "a joyful day of thanksgiving for salvation." This decree operated for 350 years, until 1859. But even after its abolition, the British did not rest. This became a tradition. Moreover, the festival is celebrated in many of the then colonies of the former British Empire: in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada. The anniversary of "The Salvation of His Majesty" is preceded by the night of Guy Fawkes. Then the British burn bonfires, which "kill" the effigy of the escaped conspirator. And then they eat the traditional food for this holiday: mashed potatoes with grilled sausages, grilled chicken legs with carrot and cabbage salad. For dessert it is accepted to serve apples-toffee.

The image of Guy Fawkes in popular culture

On the wave of popularity, the very name of an unsuccessful conspirator became a household name. At first they called his straw doll, burnt on the eve of the holiday, then every effigy, then - a carelessly clothed man. Finally, from conversational American speech came back to the Old World the word "guy", denoting any guy. The modern world reinterpreted the story with Guy Fawkes. The plot of four hundred years ago was played out in comics, movies, books. Thanks to the graphic novel by Alan Moore, whose name "V - means vendetta", and then the film of the same name, appeared the mask of Guy Fawkes. Mysterious anonymous, struggling with a criminal regime, gained popularity. His mask was adopted by modern protesters, who go to rallies and take part in the "Take the Wall Street" action.

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