For the past 400 years Fifers have been marking the date of the foiled attempt to assassinate King James I and blow up the Houses of Parliament in London.
It was at midnight on November 4, 1605 that a member of the Gunpowder Plot, Guy Fawkes, was discovered by the authorities guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder under the House of Lords.
He was arrested but many of his fellow conspirators fled London. At his trial the following January, he was sentenced to death for committing treason along with other members of the group.
For many years after, The Gunpowder Plot has been commemorated on November 5 by the ringing of church bells and people lighting bonfires to mark the plot’s failure, before finally evolving into the Bonfire Night we celebrate today.
This year, a number of bonfire and firework shows are taking place across the Kingdom as we remember, remember the fifth of November.
Next Thursday, the annual bonfire and fireworks display is being held on Burntisland Links for all ages to enjoy.
The event, organised by Burntisland Events Group, starts at 6pm, with the Radio Lollipop Roadshow providing entertainment along with fairground rides, refreshments and the popular glo-sticks stall.
Burntisland Pipe Band will arrive with the Summer Queen at 7pm, followed by the lighting of the bonfire and the professional fireworks display provided by company 21cc.
People are advised to leave their cars at home and use public transport as the event is always very busy.
A spokesman for the group said: “Whilst there is no set charge for entry to the event, a public collection will be taken on the night to help offset the considerable costs involved.
“The event does receive some funding from Fife Council but the group is heavily dependent on a good response from the public to make up the shortfall.
“It is hoped that everyone will contribute something. For health and safety and insurance reasons, no personal fireworks and sparklers will be permitted.”
Meanwhile, a fireworks display is being held at Anstruther Harbour, in the East Basin, beside the lifeboat shed, on November 5. It is being organised for the second year by East Neuk o’Fife Round Table.
The event starts at 7pm with Fusion Dance Display in the Dark, before the lighting of the raft by an archer around 7.30pm, followed by fireworks. There will be limited parking on the harbour front so locals are asked to walk to the event and visitors are asked to park their cars at Bankie Park, Station Road or Waid Academy.
An event is also being held at Newport-on-Tay on the same night at Waterstone Crook Playing Fields.
It starts at 7pm with entry £4 for adults, £3 for children. Discounted advance tickets are available.
Newton of Falkland is also holding a bonfire and fireworks display on November 5, at The Myre. Entry is free. No sparklers are allowed. The event starts at 6.30pm.
On Friday, November 6, a bonfire and fireworks show is taking place in Wallsgreen Park, Cardenden. The event, which starts at 7 pm, is free.
On the same night a similar display is happening at the Bow Butts in Ceres. The beacons and fireworks start at 6pm.
The fireworks will be supported by five fire braziers in place of a bonfire. There is no charge to view but there will be a bucket for collections and all donations will be welcome.
In Glenrothes there will be a event in Gilvenbank Park. It starts at 7pm and is free. No sparklers are permitted.
And on Saturday, November 7, the Ship Inn at Elie is hosting its own display. It will host fireworks on Elie beach. A barbecue will be lit and mulled wine and cider and other goodies will be served from the beach bar. The fireworks show will take place from 7pm with a bonfire on the beach afterwards.
Meanwhile, also on Saturday, November 7, Dunfermline will be hosting its yearly spectacular to celebrate Bonfire Night. Dunfermline Delivers, supported by Fife Council, will host the display in Pittencrieff Park, accompanied by music from Forth One. The entertainment starts at 6pm with the fireworks at 7pm.
Guy Fawkes and fireworks
Guy Fawkes wasn’t the main conspirator in the Gunpowder Plot, but he had one of the most important roles.
He guarded the gunpowder underneath the Houses of Parliament, and had he not been discovered, he would have probably been charged with lighting it.
Fireworks arrived in Europe in the 14th century and were first produced by the Italians. The first recorded fireworks display was held in Florence.
The first recorded fireworks in England were at the wedding of King Henry VII in 1486.
Dummies have been burned on bonfires since as long ago as the 13th century and initially this was done to drive away evil spirits.
However, following the gunpowder plot of 1605, the focus of the sacrifices switched to Guy Fawkes’ treason.