Why do the English celebrate the day that their Parliament was nearly destroyed?
On the 5th November, 1605 in England, a group of Catholics who were unhappy at the way they were being treated by the laws of the day, conspired to blow up King James 1 and his Parliament in London.
One of the Catholics, Thomas Percy rented a cellar beneath the Palace of Westminster, and he, Guy Fawkes, Francis Tresham and others stashed away 36 barrels of gunpowder in readiness for their crime.
They were found out when Francis Tresham sent a letter to his brother in law Lord Monteagle advising him not to attend the Opening of Parliament.
Led by the 1st Earl of Salisbury, the gunpowder plot was discovered and Guy Fawkes was arrested as he entered the cellar. Some of the others escaped, some were arrested later and thrown into prison, some turned King's Evidence and told the names of the others involved.
Guy Fawkes himself was tortured until he revealed the names of his associates and he was hanged, drawn and quartered in 1606.
Wags down the ages have said that he was "the only man ever to have entered Parliament with honest intentions."
Unfortunately the incident meant even more difficulties for the English Catholics as the laws against them were made even tougher.
To this day, Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night as it is often known, is celebrated every year in England on the 5th November.
In the week before the celebration, children stuff old clothes with newspaper and fashion a head out of anything they can find to make a Guy, they then display it with pride and ask passers by for 'a penny for the Guy'.
Soon after dusk on the 5th November at school playing fields, in back gardens, at town recreation sites or anywhere else that people can gather to build a huge bonfire and shoot hissing, popping, cracking fireworks into the night sky, the dastardly deeds of almost four hundred years ago are remembered as the culmination of the party is the burning of the effigy of Guy Fawkes on the bonfire.