‘Lack Of Merchandising’ Destroys Guy Fawkes

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A hot time in Lewes tonight

A hot time in Lewes tonight


Fancy a bit of Catholic-baiting tonight? This is the time to head for Lewes, where you’ll get a chance to chuck fireworks at priests in the ritual that celebrates not just the treasonous Catholic attempt at dynamiting Parliament but also the burning of Protestant martyrs. It’s a bonkers evening, with burning tar barrels tossed into the river and the town’s many bonfire societies blowing up effigies. All very Wicker Man, and a lot more fun than anodyne Hallowe’en, the Hollywood-style kiddie night that has almost completely destroyed Guy Fawkes’ Night.
Retailers say firework sales are down 40%, and blame the trouncing of Guy Fawkes by Hallowe’en on ‘lack of merchandising opportunities’. Clearly it doesn’t matter that centuries of historic celebration have been wiped out in under a decade – it seems if you can’t shop for it, we don’t want it.
Personally speaking I miss chucking bangers through my gran’s toilet door, but maybe that’s just me.

4 comments on “‘Lack Of Merchandising’ Destroys Guy Fawkes”

  1. Helen Martin says:

    Where did Hallowe’en come from? Why Britain, of course, probably Ireland and maybe Scotland as the remains of Samhain. In England Guy Fawkes took over because it fitted with nationalism, fear of spies and fifth columnists and involved blowing things up, or at least burning them. What could be more fun on a damp November night than socking it to all those elements that would destroy our marvelous England? I imagine the church was glad to see it, too, since it would get rid of any remnants of druidic custom that might remain. We don’t have Guy Fawkes (except in Nanaimo) because no one has tried to blow up our parliament. Halloween is dieing here, too, because you can’t have fireworks unless you’re an adult with a $100 permit, etc. (Lots of places selling fireworks, though, and we could see rockets going off up the hill as we drove home.) Fewer kids these days, although the costumes were good – trite but good.

  2. Chris Tandy says:

    Wasn’t the Lewes Catholic Conflagration fire-fest rather taken over by The Paisleys, (Ian, Senior and Junior)?
    I heard they had paid for and maintained a Protestant church there, presumably stacked high with barrels of gunpowder and fireworks for future November fun and anti-papist politics.
    Maybe that is all now fire under the bridge, as it were..

  3. Helen Martin says:

    Will I ever be able to hold my protestant head high? Would not stores of explosives be deemed to be contrary to public good order and result in someone (hopefully a Paisley) “assisting the police in their inquiries”?

  4. I.A.M. says:

    Paisley the Elder has oddly toned down and accepted the Armistice the last one heard a few years ago. One can hope.

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