No. 4: Bonfire Night

SBL_BonfirePhoto credit: Vina Learn English

“Rather than being a day to commemorate the first steps of a new nation, or the overthrowing of an imperial regime, Bonfire Night is a wilder event entirely. It’s an exorcism of folk demons, and while it has lost most of its anti-Catholic sentiment (although some traditions die harder than others), it still carries the idea that somehow someone should be punished for something. There’s a rude celebration at play, a sense of irreverence toward figures of authority. In places where a Guy is to be burned, he may be just a nondescript and makeshift man built of old, stuffed clothes, but he could also be Simon Cowell or Osama Bin Laden or Lance Armstrong or Margaret Thatcher. Whoever the local community deems to be the devil of the moment.”

Back catalogue: Anglophenia: Five Things You May Not Know About Guy Fawkes

Anglophenia: The Brit List: Five British Holidays Americans May Not Know About

Preorder your copy of Stuff Brits Like from: Amazon US, Amazon UKBarnes & Noble Booksellers, Foyles, Vroman’s Bookstore, Parnassus Books, The BookshelfThe Bookshop Liskeard, and Wadebridge Bookshop.


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