Guy Fawkes – A night of Joy and of Terror!

Parents, children, friends and family gather at designated spots around the country – and the world – to set off vast amounts of fireworks in celebration of Guy Fawkes.

It is a night that many people the world over, look forward to, in anticipation of lighting that fuse and seeing the rocket shoot off into the night sky, for it to explode in a plethora of colour and wonder. To see the spinning wheels of light and noise as kids run around with smaller “sparklers” – a night that often sounds like Christmas with the young laughter that accompanies it.

But it is also a night of terror for many of those creatures that cannot convey their irritation and terror at the noises and bangs that occur on a night such as this – only to wrap their tales between their legs, flatten their ears and cower under a table or run around a yard or house in a frantic mode of “what the hell is going on?”

Not many people know of the meaning of Guy Fawkes and where it comes from – and i will put my hand up to that! I only just came across the meaning as i try and make a habit of reading Wikipedia every day, looking at what happened in history on the particular day in question. And there it was, 5 November, seeing that Ly Anh Tong was enthroned as Emperor of Vietnam at the age of two on this day in 1138, but also seeing the name “Guy Fawkes”. So, i clicked the link and had a read…

Fawkes was born on 13 April 1570 in York, England and became involved in a plot to kill King James I during the opening of Parliament at the House of Lords on 5 November 1605. Fawkes converted to Catholicism after his father had died when he was eight. He moved to mainland Europe and fought for the Spanish in the Eighty Year’s War against the Protestant Dutch before meeting Thomas Wintour and returning to England.

Essentially, there was an anonymous letter sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle on 4 November and the House was searched, where authorities discovered Fawkes guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder. Fawkes was arrested and was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered at the trial in January 1606, along with eight other co-conspirators.

The plot, also known as the Gunpowder Plot, was celebrated every year on 5 November to commemorate the thwarting of the assassination attempt of the King.

Fireworks are fun, we have all done it in our childhood, hell, I still want to enjoy the explosions and lights. But we do need to think of our defenseless animals and how these miniature bombs affect their lives.

The SPCA and other animal shelters land up taking on more than they can chew due to the ignorant nature of some human beings. Some people just don’t care – but if you do, here are some tips to keep your furry loved ones safe:

  1. Stay home if you suspect fireworks will be used in your neighbourhood. Just having someone at home while the fireworks are going off can have a calming effect on scared
  2. Attempt to mask any noise by closing the windows and drawing the curtains, and play calming music to provide some noise distraction.
  3. Put familiar and comforting things around them such as toys, or their bed or basket.
  4. Don’t fuss over your pets during the fireworks. Stay composed and talk calmly to them – show them that there is nothing to be frightened of.
  5. A quiet place such as a travel kennel or carrier may provide your pet with a sense of security and comfort.
  6. Tire your dog out before the fireworks start by playing outside or going for a long walk. This will help get the animal into a calm state.
  7. Keep dogs away from windows – some frightened dogs have hurt themselves jumping through glass.
  8. A nutritious meal around nightfall is recommended, as this will help make them calmer and sleepier.
  9. If you have to be outside with your dog, keep him/her on a leash or in a carrier at all times.
  10. Practise fire safety! Dogs may try to sniff, eat or fetch thrown fireworks or ones than are lighted on the ground.
  11. If possible, make sure that your pets have time to relieve themselves. Some pets are too frightened to go outside once the fireworks start and this may lead to an ‘accident’ later on.

(*courtesy of

Enjoy your fireworks, enjoy Guy Fawkes, enjoy Diwali (10 & 11 November) but above all else – take care of those around you that cannot take care of themselves!


Author: Brendon

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