sunnudagur, nóvember 06, 2005


Remember, remember the Vifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot,
Pray tell me the reason why Gunpowder treason,
Should iver be vorgot.

Guy Fawkes Day in a part of the world that doesn't celebrate it, where Mischief Night, such as it is, it attached to another holiday and has already taken place, and where the smoky smell drifting up to my windows is not of torches, bonfires, and firecrackers set off by parading revelers but only of domestic fireplaces.

Nonetheless, some part of me would have liked to have been taking part in such festivities, chanting along and lighting firecrackers and swinging the effigy aloft for the sheer satisfaction such participation can bring. At the same time, I cannot shake the knowledge that the holiday is a traditional celebration of anti-Catholic feeling, and I have no desire to take part in that manner of thing.

What do English Catholics do on the famous fifth? The practice of Catholicism is legal now in Britain, but is the anniversary of its legalization remembered or celebrated by anyone?

Is there any of these old traditional rites that is not inherently exclusionary in some way, that does not involve unpalatable ideas about people in some way different from ourselves?

What to do with the desire to be a singing, torch-waving participant without doing anything actually incendiary?

Update: Little did I know that Guy has a blog. V would be proud, I think.

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