Saturday, November 5, 2011

Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night, Sadie Hawkins Day, more

November 5th, 2011, is Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night, Gunpowder Day, Ottery St. Mary Tar Barrels, Sadie Hawkins Day, Book Lovers' Day, Colon Day, All Saints' Day (Sweden), and Doughnut Appreciation Day.

Guy Fawkes Day, also known as Bonfire Night or Gunpowder Day, is a wild British celebration commemorating a foiled attempt to kill the king and blow up Parlaiment back in 1605. Guy Fawkes and some of his conspirators were convicted of treason, then hanged, drawn, and quartered. Hooray - let's shoot off some fireworks, burn some effigies, and have a great meal! (Some say a group known as "Anonymous," which is asking supporters to protest while wearing Guy Fawkes masks today, also plans to attack Facebook.)

November 5th is the day of the Ottery St. Mary Tar Barrels. Every year residents of Ottery St. Mary, Devon, in the UK, carry burning tar barrels through the town and through the crowds. Historians disagree about the origin of this exciting festival. Follow this year's activities on Twitter at #tarbarrels.

Sadie Hawkins Day was brought to life in the comic strip "Lil' Abner," by Al Capp, in November of 1937. Sadie Hawkins, the homeliest girl in Dogpatch, couldn't find a beau, so her father organized a special footrace. Single gals chased the single guys, and the ones who got caught were forced to marry. The race became an annual November event in the comic strip, but the date varied. Most celebrate now with girls-ask-guys dances on the first Saturday in November.

Book Lovers' Day is here. Share the love! Some celebrate this holiday on the first Saturday in November, others on August 9th. Why not both?

On November 5th Panama observes Colon Day, which isn't what you might think. It's the Panamanian version of Columbus Day.

In Sweden, All Saints' Day is observed on the first Saturday in November. Lighted candles are placed on the graves of loved ones.

As if doughnuts (or donuts) need help in the appreciation department, someone dreamt up Doughnut Appreciation Day. I just might appreciate a glazed or chocolate donut sometime today.

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