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Remember, remember the 5th November

“Remember, remember the fifth of November

Gunpowder, treason and plot

I see no reason why gunpowder treason

Should ever be forgot”

You’re probably used to hearing the 5th of November being more commonly referred to as Bonfire Night, Fireworks Night or Guy Fawkes Night. But what are these names referring to? Where has this celebration come from? And what do we do across the UK as the 5th of November hits?

What’s Bonfire Night all about?

Here’s a mini history lesson: way back in 1605, on the 5th November, there was a grand plot to blow up Parliament using gunpowder. The aim was to kill the King (James I) and stop Parliament oppressing the Catholics. Guy Fawkes was one of the conspirators, and was found under the House of Lords guarding the gunpowder that they were intending to use for the explosion.

The plot was foiled, the explosion didn’t go ahead, and the conspirators were prosecuted for treason.

As a celebration of the foiled attempt and the King’s survival, the 5th of November was declared as a day of national celebration.

What’s on around Bonfire Night?

The 5th of November has remained a day of national celebration in the UK, and around this date you can usually find lots of people celebrating by having large bonfires and burning figures of Guy Fawkes, as well as setting off Fireworks.

Local councils across the UK will usually put on events with a bonfire and a large firework display for the public, so it’s always worth looking around or searching online to see what is going on in your local area. Events are also usually very family friendly.

Do’s and Don’ts for keeping safe

Do: keep your distance from the bonfire & fireworks, make sure there are buckets of water nearby to the fire, adults supervise children at all times.

Don’t: light the bonfire near to buildings or trees, hold sparklers without wearing gloves, approach fireworks after they’ve been lit.

Additional fun facts

Here’s 5 extra things that you might not have known relating to the 5th November

– Until 1959 it was actually illegal in the UK to not celebrate bonfire night, the only exception was in York where Guy Fawkes was a student at St Peter’s School.

– There is an Island in the Galapagos named after Guy Fawkes

– Fireworks can travel up to 150mph

– Fireworks were actually invented by accident by a Chinese cook

– Approximately £15m is spent every year in the UK on fireworks.

We hope you enjoy your Bonfire Night celebrations! 

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We’re currently experiencing a high volume of calls into our contact centre and whilst we are doing our very best to maintain service levels, we ask that you only call our contact centre if absolutely necessary so we can keep our phone lines available  for vulnerable customers and those who don’t have access to online services.

If you need to check any details or make a change to your policy, please  log in to your Self-Service Centre. It will be much quicker for you to make changes to your policy online at the moment. Once logged in, you can also use our Webchat service which is available Monday- Saturday 8am-6pm and Sunday 10am-4pm to make changes, accept or decline your renewal or if you need to let us know about a claim. To log in, please click here.

We also have some other information that may be useful. Click here to read our FAQ’s, and information on what we are doing to support key workers can be found here.

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