Sunday, November 4, 2007

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

We celebrated Guy Fawkes day with a trip to Battersea Park, in south London, to see the bonfire & fireworks. The fireworks were quite good.
The bonfire, though, gets right to the heart of the holiday, which is often called Bonfire Night. There was one major disappointment here - not an effigy of Guy Fawkes to be seen! The tradition is that kids make Guy Fawkes effigies and then throw them into the bonfire. In some towns, they even throw effigies of the pope into the fire, since one of Guy Fawkes's goals was to turn the nation away from Anglican back to the Catholic faith.

The crowd, as you can get an inkling of in this photo, was huge, but amazingly well behaved. The only obvious drunk I saw had an American accent. Even though this is the quintessential English holiday, there was no patriotism on display. The only person I heard singing "God Save the Queen" was the aforementioned American drunk. People just came politely, watched the bonfire, stood in amazingly long "queues" for the port-a-potties (port-a-loos?), food tents, and beer tent, watched the fireworks, and left.

This is the Albert Bridge, just because it's so pretty at night. Abby fell sound asleep on the bus on the way home and we ended up carrying her from the bus stop back to the flat - we won't be able to do that much longer!

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