Friday, 30 November 2012

Palace of Westminster and Bonfire Night, England.

The Palace of Westminster (aka Houses of Parliament) is home of both the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and is situated on the Middlesex bank of the river Thames. Originally, the site was home to the first Royal palace, during the 11th century. However, in 1512, a fire destroyed much of the palace and it was no longer used as a Royal residence, instead being used by parliament from the 13th century. Another fire occurred in 1834, followed by a bombing after WWII. 
Along with Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben), it is one of the most recognised and visited attractions in the UK. It also played a fundamental role in the 1605 gunpowder plot in which Guy Fawkes and other Catholics stored gunpowder under the House of Lords in order to kill the Protestant King James I during the State Opening of Parliament on the 5th November. The plan, however, was unsuccessful and us Brits have celebrated Guy Fawkes  Night (or Bonfire Night) ever since!! On this night, fireworks and bonfires are popular, as well as the making of a 'Guy' (an effigy of Guy Fawkes). Kids stand in public places with these Guys and shout 'penny for a Guy' to gain money from passers by. The Guy is then burnt on a bonfire.
"Remember, remember, the fifth of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot..."