The fifth of November
We may not celebrate Guy Fawkes Night here in the U.S., but this popular U.K. holiday is celebrated in several places around the world and appears in many crime fiction novels. As a listmaker, I felt compelled to put one together for this holiday. :-) See list below.
Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night, is an annual celebration, primarily in Great Britain, traditionally and usually held on the evening of November 5. Festivities are centered on the use of fireworks and the lighting of bonfires.
Historically, the celebrations mark the anniversary of the failed Gunpowder Plot of November 5, 1605. Guy Fawkes Night originates from the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, the failed conspiracy by a group of provincial English Catholics to assassinate the Protestant King James I of England and replace him with a Catholic head of state. The survival of the king was first celebrated on 5 November 1605, after Guy Fawkes, left in charge of the gunpowder placed underneath the House of Lords, was discovered and arrested.
Traditionally, an effigy (or "guy") representing Fawkes is ritually burnt on the bonfire. In the weeks before bonfire night, children traditionally displayed the "guy" and requested a "penny for the guy" in order to raise funds with which to buy fireworks. This practice has diminished greatly, perhaps because it has been seen as begging, and also because children are not allowed to buy fireworks. In addition there are concerns that children might misuse the money. And another reason might be that Halloween is becoming more popular and replacing Guy Fawkes Night in many British communities.
In Britain, there are several foods that are traditionally consumed on Bonfire Night:
Bangers and mash
Black treacle goods such as bonfire toffee
Baked potatoes which are wrapped in aluminium foil and cooked in the bonfire or its embers
Black peas with vinegar
Potato pie with pickled red cabbage
Check out DyingforChocolate.com for an easy recipe for Guy Fawkes Night Chocolate Sparklers
Guy Fawkes Night Crime Fiction
Murder on Bonfire Night by Margaret Addison
Murder in the Mews by Agatha Christie
The Powder Treason by Michael Dax
Gunpowder Plot by Carola Dunn
Bryant & May and the Burning Man by Christopher Fowler
V is for Vendetta by Alan Moore
A Demon in My View by Ruth Rendell
The Desperate Remedy: Henry Gresham and the Gunpowder Plot by Martin Stephen
The Progress of a Crime by Julian Symons
A Fearsome Doubt by Charles Todd
Any titles missing? Let me know, so I can add to the list