Bengali folk tale instead of Guy Fawkes Night for Hackney

Guy Fawkes dropped for bonfire night

2nd November 2006

A London borough, obsessed with political correctness, has banned Guy Fawkes Night (November 5th) and replaced it with a Bengali folk tale. The evening of November 5th is when effigies of the Catholic terrorist Guy Fawkes are burned on the tops of bonfires and firework displays are held and black peas in vinegar are eaten. Respect Member of Parliament George Galloway has condemned the council's decision to not have Guy Fawkes Night.

Guy Fawkes has been banned by council bosses in east London - and replaced with a Bengali folk tale.

Tower Hamlets said it wanted to provide an "alternative" theme to celebrate November 5 and the attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

The council has commissioned a 75,000 fireworks display entitled the Emperor and the Tiger, which tells the story of the "Moghul Emperor, the Wise Man and the Guardian of the Jungle". As a mock Bengal tiger paces a giant catwalk, fire will light up a "forest" to the sound of Bangla drummers and dancers.

Around 20,000 people are expected to pack into Hackney's Victoria Park for Sunday night's display - but there will be no mention of the date's enormous significance in British history. The move came under fire from George Galloway and campaigners. Mr Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow said: "It beggars belief that this council should organise a Bonfire Night without a bonfire or a Guy."

John Midgley, spokesman for the Campaign Against Political Correctness, said the council's move would "explode in their faces". He added: "There's a time and a place for everything and November 5 is for Bonfire Night. It's time for common sense and for people to tell bureaucrats that politically correct actions like these undermine our historic occasions and harm community relations."

One third of Tower Hamlets' population of 196,000 is Bengali - about 65,000. But Bengalis dominate the council and its cabinet with 31 of the 51 councillors. Tower Hamlets council insisted they were neither being politically correct nor forgetting the Gunpowder Plot.

Officials said: We did Guy fawkes last year" and insisted it was their tradition to have a different theme each year. In a statement, a spokesman said: "And this differentiates our celebrations from other boroughs and our events are proving to be extremely popular.

"Our sole aim is to stage an exciting event - on the traditional Fireworks Night - that will attract the interest of as many people as possible. Since introducing the themed events four years ago, visitor numbers have increased from 3,000 to a massive 23,000 people at last year's event. Let's judge the event by how much people enjoy themselves on the night."

Three nights of displays will light up the skies of London this weekend. Bonfire Night is Sunday, but many displays have been brought forward to Friday and Saturday - which means a 72-hour bonfire bonanza."


How about this, keep November the 5th as Guy Fawkes night and find another day/night for a Bengali Folk Tale? Leave our own traditions alone!

- Shaun, Middlesex
************************************************** ******************

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

In 1606, the year after the gunpowder plot, it became an annual custom for the King and Parliament to commission a sermon to commemorate the event. Lancelot Andrewes delivered the first of many Gunpowder Plot Sermons. This practice, together with the nursery rhyme, ensured that this crime would never be forgotten! Hence the words " Remember , remember the 5th of November" The poem is sometimes referred to as 'Please to remember the fifth of November'. It serves as a warning to each new generation that treason will never be forgotten. In England the 5th of November is still commemorated each year with fireworks and bonfires culminating with the burning of effigies of Guy Fawkes (the guy). The 'guys' are made by children by filling old clothes with crumpled newspapers to look like a man. Traditionally, British children display their 'guys' to passers-by in the street in the days leading up to Guy Fawkes Night and ask them for " A penny for the guy".
Last edited by Blackleaf; Nov 2nd, 2006 at 01:11 PM..
That's nothing!!!..........I heard a top US Toy exec say on British National TV (ITV) That:

"Before we came here, Hallowe'en was all about some guy who was burned to death, I'm glad to say we've got them on the right track and about ghosts and spooks....and not burning some unfortunate man"

HAHAHAHA Talk about ignorance.

Some one might want to tell her that although Hallowe'en and Bonfire night are VERY close, they are not the same thing.
Yeah right try tell the Yanks anything. Don't you know they invented Hallowe'en.

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