Remember, Remember the Fifth of November...

The moon was a dim red, almost hidden by the thick clouds. The clouds were of smoke. And under the clouds, the stars had come out …

Just got back from the annual Guy Fawkes night fireworks display in Wellington, NZ. The harbour waterfront was lined with thousands of people. And overhead, the sky came alive.

It opened with a helicoptor carryling a platform that was lined with flares, and which shot off dozens of rockets from mid-air. When that was exhausted, the main event began, fired from one of the docks.

Explosions you could feel. The good kind.

Well, I’m a little buzzed right now, as perhaps you can tell. But ahhh, what a night.

Ah, good on ya, MacSpon. I love public firework displays (I remember watching one in Henderson, here in Auckland some years ago, now, standing in a field, head craned right up to the sky, a St John’s ambulance blanket around my shoulders, kindly loaned to a shivering wolf in the chill rain … Watching the sky seem to catch fire …)

It’s the backyard squibsters I can’t stand. But enough of that, before my sentiments turn Pit-ward …

I’m at uni studying at the moment, but I’ve been watching othe people’s fireworks going off all over the place. I’ve ot fond memories of big neighbourhood Guy Fawkes displays when I was a kid. Anyone remember those parachute skyrockets? They were cool - my mum hated them, because we’d be so busy trying to catch the little parachute man that we’d run into the bonfire if nobody grabbed us…

…good times… :smiley:

Collective community fireworks nights – very cool. :slight_smile:

I do remember some fireworks having parachutes when I was a nipper. Ages ago …

Remembering my very first guy Fawkes night. (Egad … a few years ago now.) I was given some crackers to fire off. Lit my first one … and got so excited and carried away that I kind of forgot about the throwing part.

Fortunately it wasn’t a very big one. Still … oooh. Tingly.

These days crackers are illegal. Understandable, but kind of sad.

My thoughts, tonight, though, go to the pet owners trying to keep their furred family members calm in the crackle-hiss of this night. To the dogs and cats running away from the noise, hopefully not being hurt, hopefully making it back home. To the children – may they be safe, and not in hospital tomorrow with burns. And to the fire fighters, fighting all the little unplanned blazes that spring up, damage property, and cost us all a little bit more, whether we buy the fireworks or not.

Hmm…fire engines just went howling up Symonds Street.

I’d like to think that kids don’t play roman candle wars in parks anymore…

…though my flatmates play it, so probably they do.

Wow… they just keep coming.

Fire works still going off non stop here. We are an easily excited wee nation eh :wink: I love Guy Fawkes.

American 'Dopers may be wondering what the hell this is all about.

In the “Gunpowder Plot” of 1605, Guy Fawkes and several others attempted to blow up the British Parliament. Fawkes was betrayed and arrested on the night of 4-5 November, 1605. He was subsequently executed.

The Gunpowder Plot has been commemorated since then, in England and subsequently her (ex-)colonies, with the lighting of fireworks and the burning of effigies of Fawkes. (Though I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen a Guy on a bonfire. Perhaps that’s a part that never made it to New Zealand.)

The affair gave rise to the nursery rhyme:

I hate to think about how unsafe we were as kids. When we were in primary school, my brothers and I would save up and buy as many Roman Candles as we could, then head over to the park next door, along with a couple dozen kids from school, and hide in the toitoi firing them at each other.

I still can’t believe how stupid we were, and moreover, how dam lucky we were that not only did we never set the park on fire, nobody was ever seriously hurt.

And seconding Ice Wolf’s concerns about all the pets. I still blame Guy Fawkes for killing one of my guniea pigs when I was a little kid. Poor wee thing.

Actually, MacSpon, the tradition stretches back further than the attempted destruction of the English parliament. We’re still continuing the old celebrations of the onset of the (Northern) winter, the old “Bonfire Nights”. Even though we’re in a different hemisphere.

Even looking back to the 19th century, only the fireworks made it here, so our Guy Fawkes isn’t really traditional apart from the date and the romance with fire.

There are, as with just about anything, plusses and minuses. :slight_smile:

I’ve heard a few sirens here, too; tonight is always busy for the fire brigade. But at the same time, I’d hate to lose fireworks night.

Amen! I miss sky rockets. I know I shouldn’t, what with them being nasty and destructive and going all over the place and making holes in trampoline mats, and landing in bush that’s been dry for a week or so, thus causing big fires for which no one can be held responsible…

…and the fact the dam things never did anything besides going ‘eeeeEEEEEEeeeee sputter’ and falling over, so that everyone backed away nervously in case it exploded without warning…

I think my train of thought is a runaway.

…but I still miss sky rockets…

aahh i still have the fireworks to look forward to tonight!
(crazy time difference)
i’ll be off to the local council’s display which is actually pretty spectatular (mind you it’s my taxes they 're using :wink:
a mate who’s a fireman attended a bonfire in a park the other night and luckily they notice a Calor Gas cannister in the flames!!!
luckily they were able to cool it before it exploded.
and of course there has been the obligitary peltings with half bricks at all calls this week!

Well, it’s good to know that the Commonwealth Dopers have an excuse to light explosives, too. I’d hate to think that the Americans were the only ones.

(We light them off on the Fourth of July over here. That’s our Independence Day. Independence from the Damned Brits. ;))

Here in the Mother country it is now 5th Novemeber and tonight’s the big night.

I will take my kids to a big display organised by the Local Council in our park. The kids love it - but not as much as their dad does.

I’m being so boring. Instead of going to a fireworks display I’m going to play pool!

I was on the train on Sunday night though which was cool as I got to see LOADS of displays.

awww, I STILL miss John Lennon…